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Lesotho on high alert over Ebola virus


Limpho Sello

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Lesotho, Dr Thomas Sukwa, on Friday handed over 250 anti-Ebola protective equipment worth $16 000 (M170 000) to the Ministry of Health as the country announced its readiness to combat the deadly virus.

The handover ceremony took place at the ministry’s headquarters and follows a recent outbreak of the virus in West Africa.

The WHO has since declared Ebola an international health emergency, and is now assisting nations combat the virus.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dr Sukwa said the kit would be given to local health-workers, officials working at the country’s border-posts and selected facilities as part of measures to combat the deadly virus.

“To ensure that the country doesn’t become affected, we had to take preventive measures because there is no cure for the Ebola virus,” Dr Sukwa said.

“In March 2014, we heard about the outbreak of the epidemic in Nigeria, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea, with about 2 600 people in the four countries being affected, and 1 500 lives being lost, since.

“That is why the country is taking these preventive measures, and is now on high alert to ensure early detection of any cases of the virus.”

According to the International Health Regulations Manager, Khotso Mahomo, six locals who had travelled to Ebola-affected nations, namely Nigeria and Guinea, are currently under surveillance to ensure they do not have the virus.

“Five of these had travelled to Nigeria, while one had gone to Guinea. But to-date, none of them has shown any symptoms although they have been under observation since 14 August.”

On her part, the Minister of Health, Pinkie Manamolela, said government had to ensure the wellbeing of its citizens hence the acquisition of the kits.



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