JUBA – South Sudan’s ministry of health said it is putting in place measures to prevent an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus after a case was reported in neighboring Sudan.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference in Juba on Tuesday, Undersecretary of Health Ministry Dr. Victoria Anib Majur said the ministry will deploy a task force to the border points of Yambio, and Nimule to deter and prevent an outbreak of Ebola.
“We have taken some steps, from tomorrow, two teams will be deployed to border towns of Yambio and Nimule so that they are able to do the assessment given the fact that they are in the border,” Anib told reporters in Juba on Tuesday.
Anib said the ministry will work with partners to strengthen preparedness in case of the spread of the virus in the country.
“In the next few days, we will be looking at other borders. We will be working with our partners like UNICEF to do health promotion and messages on Ebola virus disease.”
She urged the public to be vigilant and report any suspected cases to health workers for immediate attention.
“The citizens should on alert and most importantly those at border point should watch out and if there is any suspected case of someone with fever or bleeding or any symptoms, they need to report to the nearest health facility,” she said.
Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, County Representative of the World Health Organization in South Sudan said the WHO in partnership with Heath Ministry has activated Incident System for Ebola Virus.
“We have activated the incident system for Ebola virus disease following the outbreak declaration of Ebola in our neighboring country of Uganda today,” Dr. Ndenzako said.
“This is a very important step for us in South Sudan being a neighboring country to Uganda and with a lot of moments across the border.”
Ndenzako disclosed that a multi-sectorial task force has been set up to strengthen deterrent measures in place.
“With this activation, it means all the pillars of response will be really working and all the teams that are involved are working hard to make sure that we prepare toward response,” he said.
Health officials in Uganda on Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of Ebola and one related death in the central district of Mubende, 150 km from the capital Kampala.
The 24-year-old man who died had tested positive for “the relatively rare Sudan strain” of the virus, officials said.
Uganda has been on high alert since the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo declared its 15th Ebola outbreak in mid-August.