Wilkins re-opens after Ebola ruled out

HARARE - Wilkins Infectious Diseases Hospital was yesterday re-opened after Ebola was ruled out as the cause of a patient’s illness.

The hospital was temporarily closed last week, as staff dealt with a patient with a mysterious and potentially contagious illness which turned out to be malaria.

The patient had been to the DRC, where there is an Ebola outbreak.

Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday told reporters that results of specimens sent to South Africa had been received on Tuesday, paving way for the re-opening of the hospital yesterday.

“The particular student has been discharged,” Parirenyatwa said on the side-lines of Global Handwashing Day in Harare yesterday.

“The results arrived yesterday evening and they are negative confirming our original diagnosis that it was malaria.

“It is important (that) we followed it up with the test so that we clear the air with people who attended to her at Parirenyatwa Hospital, the students at (Harare) Poly (technic) so that they know their colleague is not an Ebola patient.” The minister also revealed that his ministry requires millions to strengthen gaps within the national Ebola response system.

“Initially we were given $132 000 for training of personnel including those at provincial level,” he said.

“We have put up another budget that will include other issues outside training to the tune of  $3,5 million.”

To avoid the current scenario where samples from Ebola suspects have had to be sent to SA, Parirenyatwa said government is seriously considering upgrading the national laboratory. “Already our teams are looking at the possibility of a level four laboratory which really means just updating our level three to four,” he said.

“It requires certification from WHO and it is not that we are anticipating any Ebola cases but any other haemorrhagic fever or highly infectious diseases.”

Government has since introduced screening at ports of entry, a process which has seen hundreds of travellers especially from West Africa being thoroughly scrutinised.  Parirenyatwa admitted his ministry needed help from the Home Affairs ministry in dealing with illegal travellers.

“It is a very difficult one. Our ministry is not going to look at illegal entry points but certified borders. Totopa kuna (Kembo) Mohadi so that he takes care of those coming in illegally,” he said, adding that National Aids Council structures werebeing used for Ebola education.

Apart from Wilkins, the ministry has also set-up Ebola centres in Beitbridge, Gweru and Bulawayo.

City Health director Prosper Chonzi said all units at the hospital were now functional while officials would be sent to help the student assimilate at Harare Polytechnic.

 

Comments (4)

God is with us apart from the evil leaders that are continuing to worst the country's hard earned little funds in politics instead of assisting the poor in need and the development of the God loved nation.God really knows that we are too poor to have Ebola.Glory be to God and let's pray for possessed Zanu Greedy leaders

godknows - 16 October 2014

Could you pliz educate me, how do you successfully screen people of Ebola at erntry points to Zimbabwe when you do not have the equipment to test for Ebola?

kalulu - 16 October 2014

People are screened at the airport in Zimbabwe with a camera who detect if the traveler has higher bodytemperature than normal (fever). An unsafe methode as an ebolaaffected person dont need to have fever in the first stage. If traveler also use drug for redusing the fever the screening is failing.

knutte - 16 October 2014

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