HARARE - A team of health experts yesterday toured the Harare International Airport to check out Ebola screening sites.
This is an outbreak that has now killed more than 3 000 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. According to medical experts, anybody who comes in contact with fluids from infected persons, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys or forest antelopes are susceptible to be infected by the disease.
It is absolutely important to tighten security at our airports and other ports of entry to avert the Ebola infection scare within Zimbabwe.
While airport officials have been screening everyone passing through the Harare International Airport to avoid passengers, especially those travelling from West Africa, health experts are obviously aware that Zimbabwe has many unofficial entrance points that can be used to sneak foreigners into the country and they should probe these as well.
The team, led by Portia Manangazira, the director of epidemiology and disease control in the Health and Child Care ministry, also comprised officials from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), the Unicef country representative, Doctors Without Borders country director and the World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative.
The authorities need to stem insecurity to avert any security scare in this Ebola dispensation.
We applaud the ministry of Health and Child Care for being vigilant and deploying disease surveillance officers to border health facilities.
In some facilities, a room has been set aside for the monitoring activity, with protective gear supplied and isolation wards set up to curb the menace. Ebola is, indeed, out of control.
It has been for quite some time. We don’t think it has been under control at any given moment since it first broke out in March in Guinea.
The problem now is that we have burned-out health care workers, who have issued plea after plea in recent days to the international community saying, “We are exhausted. We are terrified. We want to leave. Can somebody else please come in and take over?”
We applaud the Health and Child Care ministry for cooperating with other aid agencies to address the challenges that can risk this vulnerable county at this scary moment.
Passengers are being screened for symptoms of Ebola and the ministry of Health must deploy experts to all major airports to monitor the way the screening process is being done.
They must maintain these tight screening measures for passengers mainly from affected countries like in West African countries.