Karonga District Health Office (DHO) has assured people in the border district that the situation is under control despite allegations of an Ebola outbreak in neighbouring Tanzania.
Karonga district environmental health officer Lewis Tukula said in an interview on Saturday that his office has put in place interventions to control the spread of the outbreak which broke out in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] last year.
“Preparations started as soon as the outbreak was declared in the DRC last year but we have engaged an extra gear after World Health Organisation [WHO] declared Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak a public health emergency international concern this year as Karonga is a border district,” he said.
Through public health emergency management committee coordination, Tukula’s office has embarked on various preventive activities that include radio jingles, talkshows and drama.
Tukula urged people to have peace of mind, saying his office is also screening immigrants entering through Songwe Border; refugees and asylum seekers at Karonga transit camp and soldiers from Chilumba Barracks who recently returned from a peacekeeping mission in DRC.
“Apart from that, some start-up supplies are available for use at Karonga Ebola Treatment Unit and we have carried out capacity building for about 100 health workers on EVD management,” he said.
A Karonga resident from Malema Two Village in Paramount Chief Kyungu,Tusekire Hauli has hailed the DHO’s initiatives, saying they have come at a right time.
“Karonga’s geographical position puts it at risk of the outbreak as there is free movement of people across the border,” he said.