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Mozambique sets Ebola screening on the Malawi border



MAPUTO – Mozambique has set up disease checkpoints along the Malawi border as a precaution against any spread of deadly Ebola outbreaks, a senior health ministry official said.

More than 1,800 people have died in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since an Ebola outbreak there last August.

Mozambique is yet to report the Ebola case, but the DRC's regional neighbors have been on alert as the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the crisis in a global health emergency.

READ: Seven in DRC suffer from Ebola under supervision: WHO

The checkpoints have begun operating in the areas of Milage and Morambala in Zambezia province, and controls are expected to extend to other Mozambique provinces that share borders with Malawi, according to a health ministry official.

"The setting up of Ebola checkpoints is a guideline given by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the disease to other countries," Zambezia province's director of health, Jadeid Kasim, told reporters.

"The checkpoints are intended to monitor all people who enter Mozambique or have fever or if they have contact with someone who was in Congo," he said.

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

Read: Third case of Ebola discovered in Dr Congo's Goma: medical source

Authorities have characterized the screening of people entering Mozambique as a preventive control measure for the preparation, prevention, detection and treatment of any case of Ebola that may develop in the country.

The deadliest Ebola outbreak broke out in West Africa in December 2013 and lasted for more than two years, killing more than 11,300 of the 29,000 people infected.

The current one-year epidemic has left 1,823 dead, according to the DR Congo Ministry of Health, making it second only to the 2013-2016 crisis.

Rwanda closed the DRC border on Thursday after a third case of a deadly virus was discovered in the border town of Goma.


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