KAMPALA, Dec. 21 — As neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) goes to the polls on Sunday, officials said they have enhanced the Ebola alertness just in case an influx of people cross the border fearing post-election violence.
Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s minister of health, told Xinhua in an interview on Thursday that preventive measures have been put in place to ensure all people who may flock into the east African country in the event of political unrest after the polls are screened and safe of the deadly disease.
“We are enhancing the screening materials, we want to put walk through screens and increasing numbers of thermometers because we don’t know the numbers that may flock into the country in the event that there is unrest after the polls,” said Aceng.
Currently, there is an reported Ebola outbreak in DRC.
Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, told Xinhua that efforts have been doubled ahead of the polls to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease into the country.
“There has been an effort by the ministry and its partners to prevent the spread of the disease. The volunteer health teams have been briefed and are intensifying surveillance,” said Woldemariam.
“Even if people pass and they get sick, the community is the second line of defense and that capacity has been enhanced in the last few weeks,” he said.
The Sunday elections are seen as an historic opportunity for the first democratic and peaceful transfer of power, the consolidation of stability and the creation of the conditions for development in the DRC.
However, the UN Security Council and African Union have expressed concern over the upsurge of acts of violence in the election campaign.