- East Africa
Ethiopian MoH muscles in on the swine flu - A/H1NI
The Ministry of Health announces precautionary measures
Petrified with the spreading Swine Influenza (A/H1N1), Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport Enterprise have moved to install a remote sensor to detect flu symptoms from passengers on incoming flights.
Late last week authorities comprised from the two institutions identified a special isolation room at the airport where passengers with symptoms of the flu would stay upon landing in Addis Abeba.
The isolation room would help keep the suspected victims separate while they receive treatment from the medical professionals, a measure taken by the government to make sure the recent outbreak of influenza does not enter the country, according to Ahmed Emano, head of Public Relations Directorate at the MoH.
If symptoms are discovered, the person concerned would be taken to one of the few specialized hospitals in Addis Ababa, St. Paulos, for possible treatment.
Prescribed medicines for such influenza types are Oseltamivir Phosphate and Zanamivir, however, the country doesn’t have any of the two, according to Tsehaynesh Melese (MD) director general of Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI). On the other hand, she believes the medicines will be imported very soon in view of the gravity of the situation.
The ministry has also prepared a form to be completed by passengers, which includes basic personal information, where they come from, date and time of their departure, health condition in the preceding 10 days and if any of the symptoms of the flu have been seen.
There has not been any reported cases of the swine flu in the country yet.
Swine Influenza or Swine Flu, a contagious respiratory disease that was earlier believed to primarily affect pigs, has now reached a level where it is spread from person to person. The symptoms of the Swine Flu (A/H1N1include fever, runny nose, sore throat, nausea. Vomiting and diarrhoea occur in rare cases.
To help stop the spread of disease, the United States based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised people to;
*Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* Stay home if you are sick for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.