—-Chibombo District Commissioner, Felix Mang’wato, has called on stakeholders in the district to start sensitising community members on the nature of the deadly Ebola virus disease.
Mr Mang’wato says even if the country has not recorded any Ebola case, it is still important that stakeholders start educating people on the dangers of the virus, how it is transmitted as well as the preventive and control measures.
The DC said this during the District Epidemic Preparedness Committee meeting held in the District Administration Conference room.
Mr Mang’wato said the district needs to be on alert because it shares boundaries with two major cities of Lusaka and Kabwe, and that it is a transit route from the northern region of Africa.
He said the public awareness campaign on the Ebola virus must not be left to the department of health alone, but should be done through collaborative support with all relevant stakeholders in the district.
Mr Mang’wato advised stakeholders to take advantage of strategic avenues such as Church gatherings and village meetings to educate people about the virus.
He further said sensitisation campaigns should also target lodge and guesthouse owners in the district, whom he said provide hospitality services to the people who come from different places including those from outside the country.
He said while government has prepared a national Ebola Preparedness plan and a budget to support the response, stakeholders must not wait for these resources but instead use the means available to spread information on the virus.
Meanwhile, Mr Mang’wato said government is ready to contain any outbreak of the virus that may occur as it has put in place all the possible logistics to manage and control the Ebola Virus Disease.
He said the national Epidemic Preparedness Committee has put Ebola top on its agenda and has reactivated the provincial and district Rapid Response Teams.
Mr Mang’wato said care providers and point of entry authorities at all the major points of entry which include ground crossing, airport and marine ports have been oriented on Ebola.
He further said Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials on the dangers of Ebola and how to prevent it have been developed and are awaiting printing and later distribution to the general public and care providers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Ebola Virus Disease a Public Health Emergency of International Proportions.