For the ninth time, Ebola epidemics strike the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing trepidation to the numbed psyches of Congolese. As at last count, seventeen people are said to have died in the outbreak as health officials battle a disease that conspiracy theorists insist are part of depopulation globalist agenda aimed at black Africa. The last time it was in Liberia, a Liberian American, Patrick Sawyer, brought it to Nigeria by registering as a participant in a health conference in Calabar, but was quarantined in a private hospital. He died of Ebola, taking with him the lives of senior medical personnel in the hospital.
The last time it was in DRC was in 2017.
“Our country is facing another epidemic of the Ebola virus, which constitutes an international public health emergency. We still dispose of the well trained human resources that were able to rapidly control previous epidemics,” their Health ministry said in a statement.
The narrative is that Ebola, which is characterized by hemorrhagic fever, is spread by baths which are healthy carriers, and monkeys. It is said to also be spread through bush meat, but it is silent on whether it originates from them.
With the current spread, fears of it spilling over to Nigeria heightened, with the Federal Airports Authority, FAAN, assured of safety through the Airports. According to the General Manager, Corporate Affairs of the Authority, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, said that since the first recorded case of the virus in Nigeria, through an American-Liberian, Patrick Sawyer, the Authority has not relaxed its surveillance at the airports to forestall any re-occurrence.
“We have always had thermal scanners in our airports that monitor temperature of passengers and capture their pictures. We still have hand sanitizers in our restrooms too. When passengers walk pass the scanners, it registers their temperature. If yours is high, you are pulled aside for observation,” she said. According to her, all relevant agencies, including the Port Health Services have been mobilized and are collaborating effectively to ensure the safety of passengers and airport users at all time.
Easier said than done. The Federal government said it has directed security to be beefed up at Airports. But with the level this alleged disorganized blame-prone government appears less concerned about health issues, it is not clear what measures have been put in place to secure land borders.
Recently, the treat of cerebrospinal meningitis that is known to be a seasonal disease was difficult for the government to handle, with the usual excuses flying about while patients were dying. Analysts believe that if Ebola breaks out today, it will be a very bad case as all health workers are on strike. Health workers were also on strike in 2014 when it broke, but with the determination of the health ministry, in collaboration with World Health Organization, WHO, it was easily contained. “This time, many in the ministry are hoping for the epidemic for them to make maximum financial leverage from international donor organizations”, a source from the ministry told this magazine. Private hospitals maybe used again, but that can only work if the disease did not enter through the Northern part of the country, where the borders are porous and private facilities are few and far between.