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EVD Preparedness and Response in Rwanda

The current outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) poses a high risk of introduction into neighboring countries including Rwanda. An Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is likely spread over tens of kilometers.

Countries with land borders adjoining the DRC like Rwanda have been advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to urgently strengthen their surveillance and alert systems for early detection of potential cases, and overall preparedness for timely and effective response.

As part of prevention, Rwanda has increased awareness and community engagement throughout the country using different communication channels like; television, Radio, billboards in public places such as main Roads, borders and Airports. Also interpersonal communication in Health Facilities, hotels, and in public gatherings is ongoing.

The Head of Division Epidemiology and surveillance Response Dr José Nyamusore says Ebola case management trainings for medical staff at health facilities, security organs, the Red-Cross volunteers, Community Health Workers are in place. Meanwhile Ebola screening is ongoing at all border posts to Rwanda including the high risk zones.

The Rwandan National EVD Preparedness and Response Plan, consolidated by the Government, the Ministry of Health, the national experts namely the Epidemic Surveillance and Response Division, National Referral Laboratory, Rwanda Health Communication Centre (Risk communication and Community Engagement), University Teaching Hospitals (Clinicians and IPC), Gisenyi District Hospital, the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration) and various key Partners such as CDC Country Office and the Rwanda Red Cross. From WHO side, the WHO Regional Office for Africa (AFRO), the departments of Country Health Emergency Preparedness (CPI), Emergency Management (EMO) and the WHO Country Office for Rwanda are in acting in synchronized collaboration to scale up the efficiency of joint interventions.

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