Gov’t obtains Ebola-testing reagents

By William Madouk Garang

South Sudan will no longer take samples of suspected Ebola cases for investigation abroad, as the first consignment of reagents for testing Ebola donated by East African Community arrived in Juba on Tuesday.

The reagents were donations from East African Community to member states meant to strengthen the country’s preparedness against the disease.

Undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Anib said they received the reagents, asserting that South Sudan is fully set to test samples of suspected Ebola cases within Juba.

“We are going to test in the country, we have received reagents today (Tuesday). We are going to screen our samples right here in Juba,” said Dr. Anib in an exclusive interview with No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

She assured that those samples of suspected Ebola cases will not take longer again, explaining that results of testing are released the same day of testing.

Dr. Anib advised the public to remain vigilant and avoid circulating unverified information about the virus, as she affirmed that there is no any recorded Ebola case in the country so far.

The ministry of health has intensified surveillance at entry points to prevent the deadly Ebola Virus Disease from spreading into the Country from Uganda where the outbreak has been announced since September.

On Wednesday, the national Ministry of Health said the two samples of suspected Ebola cases taken out of the country for investigations have tested negative for the virus.

The samples were collected from Nimule in Eastern Equatoria and Yambio in Western Equatoria State after two patients presented Ebola signs and symptoms.

Ebola is an often-fatal viral hemorrhagic fever. The disease is named after a river in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it was discovered in 1976.

Human transmission is through body fluids, consuming infected animals like monkeys and antelopes found ill or dead. Main symptoms are fever, vomiting, bleeding, sore throat, fatigue and diarrhea.

Outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments. People who are infected do not become infectious until symptoms appear which is after an incubation period of two and 21 days.

After Ebola outbreak, South Sudan national Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the activation of the Ebola management systems.

South Sudan Cabinet approved $500,000 (approximately SSP 330 Million) and additional 30 million, Ebola emergency response funds to help in surveillance within borders and prevent possible inflow of Ebola Virus into the country.

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