Press release on Ebola Outbreak by Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of tourism and wildlife, Kenya, with a statement by UNWTO Secretary General Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili
PR No.: PR 05/15
11th May 2018: The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has lauded Kenya for the fast and proactive steps it has taken to manage the risks and perceptions surrounding the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in north western Democratic Republic of Congo city, about 3700 kilometers away from the Kenyan borders.
In a statement, the UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili has commended Kenya for taking a lead role, as Chair of the African Commission of the UNWTO, in strengthening the continent’s response to the outbreak by provision of factual pertinent information.
“The Ebola outbreak poses a very serious public health risk. Uncertainty is natural at this stage and these situations also challenge perceptions, not only of the countries directly affected, but also of the wider region.
Transparency, accountability and proactivity are critical, even in the absence of full information, which is natural when circumstances are still unfolding. We commend Kenya’s support to the countries affected as part of its role as the Chair of the African Commission of the World Tourism Organization.”
Speaking while welcoming the UNWTO’s comments, the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, who is also the Chairman of the African Commission of the UNWTO, Hon. Najib Balala said Kenya is working closely with other African countries to expeditiously put in place adequate preventive measures to contain the disease within African borders.
“The Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health and that of Tourism & Wildlife, wishes to assure all travellers to Kenya that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that the Ebola virus is not introduced or imported into our Country. There is no Ebola case reported in the country,” said CS Balala.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of the new cases of Ebola disease in Bikoro in north western DRC, which is about 3700 kilometers away, Kenya has strengthened the routine screening of travelers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Busia, Malaba, Namanga, Wilson Airport and all other points of entry.
In all these places, the Ministry of Health has installed electronic thermo scanners, hand-gun thermo scanners, increased health officers and other support systems to provide effective surveillance and preventive measures against Ebola.
The Health Ministry has also established the National Health Emergencies Council, whose role is, among other activities, to act expeditiously to prevent impending health situations.
Kenya through the Ministries of Health and Tourism & Wildlife, therefore, assures that Kenya has adequate medical screening.