Tanzania: Tanzanian nurse in self-quarantine after serving in Ebola-hit Liberia

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - A Tanzanian nurse who has just returned home after taking part in the post-Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) recovery programme in the affected West African countries has placed herself under a 21-day quarantine, apparently because health authorities here are lax about precautions against the deadly virus.

Ms Loveness Isojick, 28, staff of Korogwe District Hospital in the eastern coastal region of Tanga, has been staying in a hotel room since her arrival from Monrovia, Liberia, last Wednesday.

Isojick feared that joining her family and shaking hands with relatives and friends could put many Tanzanians at risk of infection with the EVD, in case she carried the virus, The Citizen daily reported Friday.

“One person can infect six others. I might be putting my family and the entire nation at risk if I ignore this precaution,” said Ms Isojick, who had previously worked in Sierra Leone before she went to Liberia for the post-Ebola programmes.

“I know I haven’t handled patients directly this time, but being quarantined for at least 21 days is a standard precaution for anyone who has been working in Ebola camps in West Africa.

“The organisation that sponsored my programme in Liberia has asked me to monitor my temperature and report to them in case the Ministry of Health does not have the necessary measures in place,” she said.

According to the nurse, her sponsors for the trip to the Ebola-affected countries promised to evacuate her immediately from Tanzania in case she developed Ebola-like symptoms.

On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, in northern Tanzania, Ms Isojick filled in a special medical form, which was reportedly sent to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in Dar es Salaam for further action.

“I guess the airport authorities must have informed the government immediately. I’ve also been asked to notify the district medical officer in Korogwe,” she said.

But the ministry’s spokesperson, Nsachris Mwamwaja, has confirmed that until Thursday the ministry had no information about Ms Isojick and her self-quarantine. “We don’t have any report about the nurse,” he said.

Five Tanzanian physicians who were sent on the same mission to Liberia under the auspices of the African Union returned home about two months ago.

Before the EVD resurfaced last week in the three-most affected countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone -- the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said the social and economic impact of Ebola would be felt long after the outbreak ended in West Africa.

The outbreak has affected virtually every social and economic sector in these countries,  with a particular impact on health services, jobs and schools.

“The commitments and resources raised from the continued partnership of the international community will help establish resilient and vibrant communities that can stay free of Ebola and re-establish social and economic development,” UNDP said ahead of the 9-10 July International Ebola Recovery Conference convened by the United Nations in New York.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 10July2015

10 july 2015 11:13:13

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