Malawi on Ebola alert, Ministry of Health monitoring DRC situation

Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MOH) says it is aware of an alert coming from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that declared that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in that country’s are of Bikoro in Equateur Province.

A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus
 According to social media, the alert by the government of DRC was issued on Tuesday (May 8) after results of a laboratory test that was carried showed confirmed two cases of EVD.
MOH spokesperson Joshua Malango said people, including refugees, coming into Malawi are and will continue to be screened at the border for Ebola and other diseases of major public health importance.
“In collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO), we are monitoring the situation in DRC,” Malango said. “If it becomes necessary to alert the people of Malawi we will do so without causing any unnecessary anxiety.”
When alerted that one Malawian travelling from DRC posted on social media that when they landed at the Malawi airport at night there was no one manning the health check desk because the staff had knocked off since there was no transport to take them home at that late hour, Malango said their health service is available 24/7 in all major entry points (borders) and MOH is responsible for the service.
“There is mechanism of monitoring how well the service is working, including feedback from the public and travellers through different channels including social media; regular newspapers etc [and] thanks for alerting us about the experience by a traveller from DRC.”
This traveller sent his experience to one of the country’s writer and critic Onjezani Kenani’s inbox,  who in turn posted on his Facebook wall as thus:”Share this on your wall because I can’t share on mine due to the nature of my job: I was arriving in the country with the 16:40 flight through the Kamuzu International Airport but I was surprised we didn’t undergo any health checks  as it was supposed to be because in the health section there was nobody.
“After enquiries, I was told that normally afternoon and night flights are not covered due to the fact that those manning the health section are not provided with transport. This is sad and worrisome. Surprisingly, the Ministry of Health and the Lilongwe District Health Office in particular and other border districts received vehicles to deal with Ebola but it appears the vehichles are being misused and are not used for their intended purposes. It’s a shame as the country is at risk.”
In response to this, Khwima Longwe sarcastically said: “Kuno Mulungu amangotimvera chifundo kuti matenda enawa asamafike shuwa” (saying we only survive some of these catastrophes that ought to befell on us because of our negligence by just God’s grace).
But Malango said Ministry of Health has the capacity to detect and treat the dsease if it spreads into the country.

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