AFRICA – The Africa Centres for Disease Control (Africa CDC) has published key recommendations to guide Africa Union (AU) Member States on prevention and control measures for Ebola virus disease (EVD) following confirmation of one case in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to Africa CDC, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported a confirmed case of Ebola virus disease in the Beni district of North Kivu province making it the third EVD outbreak declared in the North Kivu province since 2018.
The public health agency of the African Union said results from genome sequencing revealed that the current outbreak is linked to the 2018 – 2020 EVD outbreak that occurred in the North Kivu province of DRC and may not represent any new spillover event.
WHO staff and health authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo working to stem the spread of the disease, having identified 160 contacts whose health is being closely monitored. Investigations are ongoing to determine the vaccination status of the confirmed case.
Subsequently, the public health agency continues to monitor the situation of EVD in the DRC while supporting the strengthening of surveillance systems in DRC and bordering countries since Ebola virus disease remains a public health emergency in DRC and a high-risk pathogen for neighboring countries.
Africa CDC Emergency Operations Centre remains in alert mode and is closely monitoring the situation in DRC while the Africa CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Division engaged the MoH and is planning a rapid needs assessment to identify areas of potential support.
Africa CDC has advised African Union Member States to enhance cross-border surveillance efforts by mapping population movements to identify all potential crossing points where there is risk of disease spread.
In addition, the specialized technical institution recommends that AU Member States should set up screening posts and conduct health screenings for all travelers to detect signs and symptoms of Ebola virus disease as well as share health information for EVD at borders.
Africa CDC also advised African governments to integrate EVD surveillance into the existing surveillance strategies at community and health facility levels as well as to perform contact tracing and follow up of all probable and confirmed EVD cases.
Furthermore, African countries have been urged to enhance Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health care settings and affected communities in order to prevent patients and health workers from being harmed by avoidable infection.
The institution stressed that health authorities should notify and routinely share data regarding confirmed EVD cases, deaths, recoveries, tests conducted and healthcare workers infected with the Africa Centres for Disease Control.
The agency further emphasized that Africa Union Member States should provide information to the general public about seeking immediate medical care for those who develop symptoms similar to the viral hemorrhagic fever.
Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE