Juba, Sep 21 (IANS) The South Sudanese government announced that it is stepping up vigilance along the borders following an Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Uganda.
Victoria Anib Majur, the undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, advised communities living along the border with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to report any suspicious case to health authorities, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We are very concerned about the Ebola outbreak in Uganda because we share the border. We have a lot of movement across the border, our families are in Uganda and Ugandans are on this side,” Majur told journalists here on Tuesday.
She also urged the public to refrain from eating bushmeat since Ebola spreads to humans through animals.
Majur disclosed that national assessment teams will be deployed in the border areas of Yambio and Nimule bordering both DRC and Uganda, respectively.
On August 21, the DRC government announced an Ebola outbreak after detecting a 46-year-old woman living in the city of Beni, in the province of North Kivu.
Majur added that they would be partnering with the Unicef to promote public awareness of the Ebola virus disease.
Fabian Ndenzako, the acting WHO Representative for South Sudan, said that the Health Ministry has already activated the incident management system for Ebola virus disease.
“There is a lot of movement across the border, so it’s really important that this incident management system is really activated. We don’t have a case in South Sudan but given the proximity and closeness, we have to prepare,” Ndenzako said.
Since its discovery in 1976, the majority of cases and outbreaks of Ebola have occurred in Africa.
The 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak ever, according to the World Health Organization.
The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and then spreads to humans through direct contact with the infected people.