The appreciation was made yesterday during a consultative meeting held in Rubavu district to assess outcomes of recently signed cooperation agreements to contain the Ebola outbreak which has taken the lives of thousands of people in DRC.
DRC Health Minister, Dr. Eteni Longondo said cooperation during the outbreak and after eliminating it is paramount between neighbors.
“We are neighbors and need to concert efforts to prevent Ebola outbreak. We have taken strict policies in DRC and committed to collaborating with others to avoid the spreading of the epidemic. These efforts will be sustained after handling the current situation,” he said.
Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba commended both countries’ cooperation especially DRC response to the Ebola crisis.
“We are reviewing together how far our cooperation is in the prevention of the Ebola outbreak. We always exchange information because Ebola is reported in their country. Their efforts are bearing fruits because they do not a single Ebola patient in Goma,” she said.
Figures from the World Health Organization indicate that Ebola has killed 2000 patients in DRC since 2018.
Ebola is transmitted through blood and body fluids, including vomit, urine, saliva, sweat. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, joint pain, headache, diarrhea, skin rash, vomiting, red eyes, stomach-ache and bleeding through different body parts.
Rwanda has a detailed National Preparedness Plan in place and has trained health workers in early detection and response, educated communities about Ebola, vaccinated health workers in high-risk areas, equipped health facilities, and continues to conduct simulation exercises to maintain a high level of readiness.
Screening for Ebola symptoms at points of entry has been ongoing since the beginning of the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has been reinforced since the confirmation of a case in Goma.
An Ebola Treatment Centre was put in place and 23 isolation units are being prepared in hospitals in 15 priority districts.
Ebola response simulation exercises are on a regular basis within the community, borders, airport and treatment centers to test Rwanda’s preparedness in response to a case, which includes emergency Operations Centre activation, active surveillance, case management, and laboratory testing.
About 3000 health workers in high-risk areas have been vaccinated as a preventative measure, including more than 1100 in Rubavu district.
To date, Rwanda has trained over 23,957 people including Doctors, Nurses, hospital staff, Community Health Workers, religious leaders, Red Cross
Volunteers and security organs. Meanwhile, special ambulances are in place to handle any Ebola suspected case on time.
Rwanda has in recent past stepped up efforts to prevent Ebola from spreading to the country, including scaling up screenings at all points of entry, surveillance, vaccinating frontline workers including health and immigration officers, public sensitization, among other measures.