Paidamoyo Chipunza Health Reporter
Government plans to put surveillance measures against the deadly Ebola disease at border posts following repeated suspected cases in neighbouring South Africa.
In an interview yesterday, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said plans were underway to roll-out prevention programmes at all border areas such as Beitbridge and Chirundu.
Dr Parirenyatwa who is also the chairman of the Sadc Health Ministers forum, said the South African airport was also very critical to Southern African region since it received people from different parts of the region and its planes were still flying to East Africa.
“Our next phase would be to roll out the programme to the borders for road users as we continue monitoring and following up developments in the region,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
“The South African international airport is of critical importance to all of us in the region and we are working hard as Sadc to do all we can to prevent the spread of the disease to our people,” he said. Dr Parirenyatwa said Zimbabwe was also monitoring people entering the country from the affected areas for any possible signs and symptoms of the disease.
He, however, maintained that Zimbabwe was at low risk of getting Ebola virus, which so far has killed over 1000 people in East Africa and left many others sick.
He said Government was in the process of drafting a budget required for effective prevention and preparation for the outbreak.
“Treasury has been very supportive and has since asked us to provide a budget of all that we need to prevent and prepare should the outbreak strike.
“So far we are using Ministry (of Health and Child Care) resources,” he said. Meanwhile, South Africa has announced that results of a South African man who was quarantined yesterday after exhibiting signs and symptoms of the disease tested negative.
The man had just returned from Liberia, where he was working in the mines and started showing symptoms of Ebola until he was quarantined.
Last week, South Africa also quarantined a pregnant woman who had come from Guinea also exhibiting signs and symptoms of Ebola.
Laboratory results for the woman also tested negative of Ebola virus.
“Indeed there is somebody who is a South African who stays here and happened to come back home from working in Liberia.
“He came back but unfortunately fell ill and therefore his fever is of interest to us and we are checking that,” says Department of Health spokesperson Joe Maila on Sunday.