The World Health Organization (WHO) has named Tanzania among countries that were at high risk of facing an Ebola outbreak. Ebola has so far killed 27 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since an outbreak of the disease was announced in the country on May 8. As various health agencies continue with efforts to contain the outbreak, the WHO has identified three groups of priority countries for interventions; based on risk assessment. Tanzania falls in the second category of high priority countries. Uganda-based WHO representative, Dr Miriam Nanyunja, told reporters in Dar es Salaam that Tanzania was at high risk of facing an outbreak because of cross-border interactions with the DRC. She said it the country is in the same category, named priority 2, with other countries such as Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Zambia. The first category included the Central African Republic (CAR) and Congo-Brazzaville, which she said had more socio-economic interactions with the DRC compared to other countries. The third category includes Uganda. Dr Nanyunja said that Uganda had previously faced an outbreak of Ebola and therefore it was at low risk of being affected again. For his part, the acting director of Preventive Services at the Ministry of Health, Communty Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Dr Khalid Massa, said Tanzania had put measures in place to prevent entry of Ebola into the country. “In general, as a nation, we have prepared ourselves well. We continue to implement preventive strategies to ensure the disease does not enter the country,” he said. He further said that the ministry, in collaboration with the WHO had embarked on formulating and implementing preventive strategies to ensure the country remained free from an Ebola outbreak. Health deputy minister, Dr Faustine Ndugulile, reiterated recently that there were so far no suspected cases of Ebola or ‘Ebola Like diseases’ in Tanzania.
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