Kenya to send 700 medical workers to Ebola-hit West Africa
Nairobi: Kenya's ministry of health said on Friday it would send 700 medical workers to Ebola-hit West African countries in late November.
The country's Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia said 700 doctors and nurses have enrolled in a regional voluntary programme to assist Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in fighting against Ebola, Xinhua reported.
"Ebola is still escalating in the West African region and our medical personnel will be deployed there later this month to strengthen the fight against the lethal infection," Macharia told reporters in Nairobi.
The ministry in October commenced the training of 30,000 medical workers to enable them to respond effectively to an Ebola outbreak. Macharia said doctors and nurses who will be deployed to Ebola-hit West African countries participated in this training programme.
The East African nation has supported pan-African initiatives to boost the fight against Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Macharia said Kenya endorsed an East African Community resolution, calling on member states to contribute resources and medical personnel to help West African Countries combat Ebola.
The ministry of health in August sent technical experts to Ebola hotspots to assess the magnitude of the epidemic to help inform national response.
Macharia said Kenya has not relaxed Ebola surveillance at the ports of entry despite a drop in new infections. "We are not lifting the flight ban to affected countries until there is a consensus from different stakeholders to do so. Ebola is still devastating the West African region as deaths reach 5,000, " said the secretary.
He said that the African Union, the World Bank and several bilateral partners will facilitate travel and upkeep of the volunteer medical personnel.