Ebola: Govt warns over Nigeria visits

Dr Parirenyatwa

Dr Parirenyatwa

Patrick Chitumba and Thupeyo Muleya
Government has urged Zimbabweans seeking prayers and healing sessions from Nigerian prophets to reconsider visiting that country as it moves to curb a possible Ebola outbreak.
In an interview at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa, said Zimbabweans visiting Nigeria for prayer sessions were putting their lives at great risk since several cases of Ebola had been recorded in that country.

Zimbabweans flock to the West African country mainly to attend services by Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of all Nations.
Ebola, the deadliest virus known to man, has killed at least 1 145 people in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia since it broke out in March.

Dr Parirenyatwa assured the nation that no Ebola cases had been detected in Zimbabwe or the Sadc region.
“We are discouraging our people from going to Ebola hit countries. Last week we received a group of 50 Zimbabweans from Nigeria.

“They were coming from a prayer session with one of the prophets there,” he said.
“As we are saying, please postpone those prayer trips to Nigeria. For now pray from here. You can do it from here. Fifty people is a large number that can put the country at risk.”

Dr Parirenyatwa said the country would monitor people suspected to have Ebola, especially those from the affected countries, for 21days.
Meanwhile, a team of health experts led by the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Gerald Gwinji, visited Beitbridge border post yesterday to assess the country’s state of preparedness and capacity to deal with an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease.

The visit follows reports of suspected cases in neighbouring South Africa. The team comprises of technocrats from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Health and Child Care.

In an interview after the tour, Dr Gwinji said the team was happy with the situation at the border post where a temporary Ebola port had been set up for surveillance purposes. He added that an isolation site had also been set up at the International Organisation for Migration reception centre. The IOM centre will be equipped with four beds and other key accessories including protective clothing for health workers.

“As you are aware we have started rolling out prevention programmes at our ports of entry and hence the need to assess the situation on the ground and make recommendations where necessary.

“So far we are impressed with the high level of alertness and preparedness by the Beitbridge task team which is led by the District Administrator Mr Peter Moyo,” he said.

Dr Gwinji said they had also started training stakeholders involved in the movement of people through the border and those at the Ebola ports on the best ways to deal with any eventualities.

He said Beitbridge border post handles the highest volume of traffic in the country and hence the need for government to carry out all the necessary preventive and disease control measures.

Approximately 170 000 travellers pass through Beitbridge border post every month. Dr Gwinji said government had sufficient equipment and personnel to deal with Ebola, adding: “The Ministry of Finance is in the process of procuring more equipment.”

“The ports of entry are very important for effective surveillance measures because they provide all the information we need to manage the situation”.
Speaking during the same tour, Beitbridge Civil Protection Unit Chairperson, Peter Moyo, said they had started giving out information to both travellers and members of the community on Ebola.

About 90 percent of people who contract Ebola are killed by the disease. The virus causes internal and external bleeding and damages the immune system and organs. The virus may be contracted through contact with blood or bodily fluids of the infected.

Doctors said the symptoms of the virus show two to three weeks after contracting the virus and they include high fever, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea which may lead to decreased functioning of liver and kidneys and eventual death.

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  • tafamutekwe

    Those “visitors” you want to see banned include fellow Zimbabgeans working/visiting in those countries as expatriates,embassy staff, NGO’s, multinationals, students,sportsmen, tourists/honeymooners,pilgrims etc. Suppose your wife/daughter is one such, would you be happy to have her disallowed too? In health crisis situations people are quarantined; only cross-boarder criminals are “banned.”

  • Jack Majaya

    Whats wrong with the Zim government. The government must STOP people travelling to Nigeria immediately for the so-called prayers. You put the whole country at risk yet there is no cure for EBOLA and the government is broke: stupid arrogance

  • Zimboinnaija

    Paranoa does not solve any problem. If people are stigmatized they go underground. As Zimbabweans considering what we have gone through with HIV we should know better. In all the countries there are three pronged approaches to managing Ebola. Unlike HIV, Ebola has symptoms that are detected early before a person becomes fully sick.
    Seek knowledge before panic!!
    1. Ebola can be spread through eating bush meat that is infected with the virus ( do not be eating any bush meat when you go/come to Nigeria)
    2. Ebola is spread by contact with dead bodies of people that died from Ebola
    3. A person can only spread Ebola to others only when he is sick through body fluids e.g. sweat, vomit, saliva, blood, urine, faeces etc.
    4. Do not be eating bats ( I know Zimbabweans eat mice lest you mistake a bat for a mouse)

    • Mudimbu

      1. We do not eat makonzo, we eat mbeva with a white belly which are field-mice not just mice.
      2. You beat about the bush when you say “bush meat” it is monkeys. They eat monkeys and apes. In Zim we don’t. That is why mutupo waTsvangirayi unoti kuipa kuipa zvake asi haadye chakafa chega.

      3. Ebola can also be spread through sex.

  • Enitan

    very sad and ill advised coming from people I use to think of as one of the smartest in Africa, the 5 or so cases of Ebola in Nigeria have come from a / 1 Liberian government official who travelled to Nigeria and subsequently infected the medical staff trying to help him.
    yes we agree Ebola is a contagious and is a highly deadly disease, but going as far as saying you want to ban those going to Nigeria or coming from Nigeria is excessive. when you consider countries like Britain and America who receive many many more Nigerians than Zimbabwe have not considered such, the stance taken by your officials and from the comments to this news report is alarming and personally there’s a great dislike for Nigerians in Africa and this fuels policies and this clearly comes across in the comments posted. 5 case in a country of over 100million chances of you catching Ebola in Nigeria are minute and yes am a Nigerian

  • rinovava

    fake prophets kulumanini simamele, eola , hiv bovine tb, prove those healing cooking oils you so praise you loathers,we talk to makandiwa, angel,magaya ,joshua tb please dont waffle your bile on sundays saying you can do it…., chemai tinzwe for our lost souls remember ebola will erase you without due care and no oil of fantasy will heal you up but care..adequate

  • Tawanda weUFIC

    Ginger Brown what exaclty do you mean when you say worshipers of prosperity? If we have gospel of prosperity it also means we have gospel of failure and poverty-which are probably being preached at your church. And that is if you even go to church.
    What is there to talk about besides prosperity? Does not your bible say God takes pride in the prosperity of children? Does not your bible say I wish above all that you may be prosperous and in good health? So whose servant are you when you despise prosperity?
    If you think prosperity relates to money alone, then you are lost. Prosperity refers to health, wealth, long life, marriages and salvation. Prosperity actually begins at salvation. Going to heaven is 100% prosperity. The moment you find yourself missing heaven you are not prosperous because that is our ultimate goal but we need to live heaven here on earth. In heaven there is no war, hunger, strife and conflict. In heaven you will find streets of gold. And tell me if this is not prosperity?

  • No to the devils servants

    hauna kana mafacts shamwari. enda kuna baba vako kugehena. we know its not the ebola you are concerned about. what has prosperity worshiping got to do with ebola?

    • ginger brown

      for the record im not r frend and what facts shd I show u kusadzidza kunokunetsa u want to make an argument nemunhu ari mumedical field ndosaka muri kurohwa mari nezvikomana izvi dai zvikakusiyayi musisina kana ndhuwe chaiyo

      • Archie

        Ginger brown and ebola ,there is no difference..