Liquid Telecom injects $ 250,000 in the Ebola fight

Liquid telecom, a communications company in Africa has donated $ 250,000 to facilitate Rwanda’s fight against Ebola. It is the first ever Private Company to donate to the Ebola cause in Rwanda.

“Prevention is better than cure if done correctly. Rwanda’s input in fighting Ebola is measured by the country’s being Ebola free, up to date,” said Sam K Nkusi, Liquid Telecom Group Executive in East Africa.

Nkusi said the donation is towards Ebola treatment and prevention, in the African countries where the company operates.

Rwanda’s Ministry of Health says the donation will help training medical personnel, social mobilization and purchasing Ebola testing kits.

“We will strengthen prevention measures and create more awareness on Ebola, at all administrative levels,” said Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho.

She noted, “Fighting Ebola should be taken as an individual cause. Private sector and different companies should contribute to the preparedness and prevention of the epidemic in Rwanda”.

The Health Ministry says it sought partnership with the public and private sector on sharing Ebola awareness messages to their clientele.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame recently said fighting Ebola was a question of strengthening local systems.

“You can’t assume responsibility outside without strengthening systems back home,” Kagame said.

Binagwaho said the Health Ministry has invested about Rwf 400M in strengthening health systems against Ebola.

More than 3,430 health workers were trained to handle the epidemic in case of an outbreak.

A quarantine centre was built with capacity to screen and monitor over 300 people suspected of Ebola, for 21 days.

Rwanda National police and Ministry of Health invented the contact tracing method, to prevent spread of Ebola within Rwanda.

Through national awareness campaigns, Rwandans are urged to seek medical attention at nearest health facilities on suspicion of Ebola. Toll free lines were provided to report any cases of Ebola.

Since the first Ebola outbreak in May, 250,000 visitors to Rwanda were screened, over 30 quarantined for 22 days in health facilities and later declared safe.

Ebola has killed over 4,500 people in Sierra Leone, Guinea and a handful outside the region.

Health experts warned weekly infection could reach 10,000 cases by December.

Rwanda sent experts to support health teams in Geneva, to invent ways to slow down the virus alarming spread. US deployed about 3000 troops to fight Ebola in Africa.

Rwanda’s national airline operates weekly flights to Ebola affected West African cities keeping Rwanda on high alert.

 

By Lillian Gahima