Mozambique sets up Ebola screening points along Malawi border

Medical workers are thoroughly cleaned after visiting patients at an Ebola treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [Image courtesy: UNICEF]
Mozambique has set up health checkpoints along its border with Malawi as a precaution against possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus into its borders, a senior health ministry official said.

The disease has killed more than 1,800 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the latest outbreak was announced in August 2018.

Mozambique has yet to report any Ebola cases, but is concerned by a possible spread of the disease to the DR Congo’s neighbouring countries.

The checkpoints have been put up in Milage and Morrumbala districts on the Zambezia province, with more expected to in other provinces along the border.

“Setting up Ebola checkpoints is a guideline given by decision of the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the disease to other countries” Zambezia province health director, Hidayate Kassim told reporters.

“The checkpoints aim to track all people entering Mozambique having fevers or if they have had contact with anyone who has been in Congo,” he said.

“Depending on this control we will determine whether there is a risk or not in our province,” Kassim added.

The DR Congo’s Ebola outbreak is the tenth and was declared in August 2018. It is considered the largest ever outbreak, with cases surpassing 2,500. It is also the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016.

WHO last month declared the DR Congo Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, calling for more measures to curb its spread.