Monday, September 8, 2014
EAC forms a taskforce to curb ‘Ebola’ disease in a region
Residents of the East African Community (EAC) have been assured not to worry about threats of possible outbreak of the deadly ‘Ebola’ hemorrhagic fever in the region following effective strategic measures already put in place by security agents of the five member states. It has been learnt. Tanzania’s Deputy Minister for EAC, Dr. Abdallah Juma Sadala clarified on Wednesday this week in Dar es Salaam that, a regional taskforce comprising of medical experts, immigration and security intelligence has been formed to curb with the prevalence of the disease. He said in an exclusive interview that, the taskforce works in collaboration with the interstate security agents of each member state in terms of information dissemination so that it could react swiftly on early warnings to curb such a disaster. Dr. Abdallah who is a doctor by profession noted that, EA region has managed to control the disease due to effective surveillance the security and intelligence agents have been undertaking so closely and pass quick information to the concerned authorities for immediate actions. He said in order to facilitate a joint strategic plan by EAC member States, already there are modern medical apparatus used for checkup which have been deployed at border posts in all member states to help monitor the infected people. Some of these, he said have been put at the major international airports in five member states, however, he has asked the media organization to help disseminate the information when required. When asked why Tanzania is blamed to be delaying in decision making in the EAC integration process, he refuted such claims noting that, there were some factors which fellow member states wanted to implement which could disturb country’s national security.
EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera
He mentioned the issue of National Identification cards which Tanzanians had not yet prepared for its citizens and noted that, has retarded the pace owing to the fact that, it could have been so impossible to identify who is a Tanzanian and who is not when it comes to issues related with land ownership. However, he noted that, there are some issues which for security reasons cannot be disclosed as they have interest to each member state. Tanzania has the right to defend its citizens if are not yet ready to enter any contract for regional integration process. The call by the Deputy Minister has come after members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) passed a resolution on Monday this week to host an emergency regional meeting on the Ebola crisis to be held in Nairobi later this month. According to the EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera, the meeting will involve the health and transport ministers and experts from all the five EAC partner states and neighbouring countries as well as WHO officials. He told the Tuesday afternoon’s session of the EALA in Dar es Salaam which ended yesterday in Dar es Salaam that the plan is for the regional bloc to come up with concrete ideas on how to “quickly and effectively” contain the spread of deadly disease that has killed nearly 2,000 people, mainly in West Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo. Fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease are rising following the increased reports of deaths resulting from the outbreak of the disease which has rocked lives of people in West Africa. (Ebola HF) is a severe, often-fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) that has appeared sporadically since its initial recognition in 1976. The disease is caused by infection with Ebola virus, named after a river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), where it was first recognized.