News / Africa

South Sudan Steps Up Guard Against Ebola

Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Ebola cases and deaths, as of August 19 update, 2014
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi

Health officials in Juba have stepped up efforts to ensure the deadly Ebola virus does not spread to South Sudan.

Armed with thermometers and notepads, a team of health officials has set up shop in tents that have been pitched just meters away from where planes land at Juba’s busy international airport.

Whenever a traveler disembarks, "We give him this form to fill in with his name, nationality, airport of departure," Frederick Ladu, a public health official  from  the Central Equatoria Ministry of Health, told South Sudan in Focus.

Then, the officials use a non-contact, infrared thermometer to check the temperature of arriving passengers. If a passenger is found to have a fever, he or she will be held by the health officials. So far, no one entering South Sudan has been quarantined because they are suspected of having Ebola.

Ladu is one of 20 South Sudanese officials trained by the World Health Organization (WHO) to screen for Ebola at the airport.

The officials gather information including which countries the incoming passengers have visited in the last 21 days. That information is needed because the Ebola outbreak has impacted the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and, the WHO says, a small number of people in Nigeria.

How effective are airport screenings?

The authorities in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are already checking departing passengers for signs of fever or illness.

But WHO medical officer Abdinasir Abubakar noted that  screening someone for fever at the airport is not a 100 percent sure way of detecting Ebola.

"A patient may contract Ebola yesterday and then they fly today to Juba, and when they come to the airport, they may not show any symptoms," he said.

"But after three weeks, they may show symptoms," he added.

But airport screenings are important, Abubakar said. International travel can help to spread ebola and countries need to be prepared, he said.

“We have seen the trend of how the outbreak has spread from Guinea to Sierra Leone, to Liberia and what was interesting is Nigeria, and how only one patient has travelled to Nigeria and he has infected a number of people," Abubakar said.

South Sudan sets up task force

Ebola has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.

Those at greatest risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.

South Sudan has set up an ebola task force, led by Vice President James Wani Igga, to try to keep the country Ebola-free. The Ministry of Health has prepared isolation wards at both Juba Teaching Hospital and at one of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camps in the capital, in case the disease manages to slip into the country.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid