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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid