There’s an ongoing health crisis in Africa. This is according to Tanzania’s minister of health. Ummy Mwalimu made the declaration because of the Ebola outbreaks in Uganda. The countries share a border, but Mwalimu claims that three regions are most at risk: Mwanza, Kigoma, and Kagera.
She toured these areas to check the safety measures that Tanzania has put in place to guard against potential outbreaks.
Her actions come just days after the World Health Organization refused to call the Ebola outbreaks in Africa a world emergency. This is in spite of more than 1,400 people dying due to Ebola since the summer of 2018.
The outbreaks began in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The epidemic recently spread to Uganda after a family traveled to the DRC for a funeral.
According to the World Health Organization, the epidemic is an emergency for Africa, but it’s not an emergency for the world as a whole — it has yet to spread beyond the borders.
It’s a messy situation, given the conflicts that have raged in the DRC for decades. The latest problems began in 2016 and have caused a rise in refugees. It’s also made it difficult to treat the people who get sick. The World Health Organization believes that declaring this a global health emergency now could do more harm than good.
Other health experts disagree and point to Ebola’s spread to Uganda as a warning that more needs to be done.
Ebola is a virus that spreads through contact with an infected person or animal. The virus becomes communicable once symptoms appear. These symptoms include vomiting, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, aches and pains, and unexplained bleeding. They typically appear between two and 21 days after the person comes in contact with the virus.
An effective vaccination now exists that could help contain an outbreak. Many health workers in Uganda have received this vaccine in case Ebola spreads further.