The government of Kenya has revived holding facilities at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in order to isolate doubted cases of Ebola to those entering and exiting the country following an outbreak of the diseases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, Jackson Kioko, says information on Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) will be availed to incoming and outgoing travelers at all points of entry in order to isolate any case of the deadly disease.
Kioko revealed that diagnostic services at Kenya Medical Research Institute, isolation centers at Kenyatta National Hospital as well as regional facilities had been put on high alert to improve the capacity to detect and respond effectively to cases of Ebola.
“The ministry has an adequate stock of personal protective equipment that are stored in strategic regional hospitals for use if needed. These include at least 5,000 special full body suits used in situations of highly infectious material,” Kioko said.
He further said that the ministry had reactivated the multi-agency Outbreak Coordination Committee comprising of public health experts in government and other development partners to assess the situation in Kenya, regional and global, and recommend measures.
“We have strengthened screening and surveillance of travelers from/through DRC at a point of entry. All persons with travel history from or through DRC, especially in affected areas, will be required to provide minimum package of information to guide investigations,” he said.
Kioko said this will include and is not limited to personal details, location of origin, history of contact with potential EVD cases, presence of any suggestive signs and symptoms of EVD, and contact details while in the country.
The director said that information will be collected to hold assess personal risk and make daily follow-ups for 21 days.
The ministry has also enhanced rapid response teams that will follow up cases of travelers with high body temperatures, and asymptomatic cases, and with a history of travel from or through DRC.
Kioko said that nine suspected cases have been reported including three deaths since April while six are hospitalized.