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Kenya steps up Ebola surveillance before regional summit

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 3 Sep 2014 13:25 GMT
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A patient is wheeled on a stretcher next to an isolation ward (R) set aside for Ebola related cases at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in the capital Nairobi. Picture August 19, 2014, REUTERS/Noor Khamis
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NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Kenya opened a third Ebola screening centre on its border with Uganda on Tuesday, a local official said, days before it hosts a regional summit on the spread of the virus, amid citizens’ fears that measures to keep the disease out of the country have been inadequate.

Ebola has killed 31 people in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and people often travel by road from there through Rwanda and Uganda to Kenya. The Ebola outbreak in DRC is unrelated to that in West Africa, which has killed more than 1,500 people, about half the number who have been infected.

“We… are asking the national government to talk to authorities in Uganda, South Sudan and Congo to mount a regional vigilance effort to ensure the Ebola virus does not spread into East Africa,”  local government health official Grace Khayota said at the opening of the border screening centre. A local government statement carried her remarks.

Kenya is due to host a conference on the region’s Ebola preparedness in the second week of September.

Kenyans have expressed fears that their government is not screening arrivals from countries affected by Ebola thoroughly enough.

(Editing by Tim Pearce; timothy.pearce@thomsonreuters.com)

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