Ghana intensifies border surveillance over outbreak of Ebola, Marburg virus


Ghana’s immediate neighbour to the West, Ivory Coast, confirmed a case of Ebola on Saturday, August 14, 2021, while the Marburg virus has already claimed several lives in Guinea since the outbreak was reported on August 9, 2021.

The health management authority says it has sent correspondence to all regional and district health directorates across the country to immediately institute Marburg and Ebola preparedness and response systems to prevent the diseases from entering Ghana.

“The Ghana Health Service and its partners have activated our systems since the onset. We have structures for all our rapid response at the borders, and they have been alerted with the fact about both Ebola and Marburg. Alerts have been sent to the regions and the district about the Marburg operation. The Ebola one will be leaving today, but we have started discussions with all our regional leaders, so they start preparations for that. The good thing is that some interventions that are currently in place can also be used to respond to this. Ghana has the capacity to test such cases at Noguchi for both the Ebola and Marburg disease. Public education and sensitization have already been initiated,” Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said at a media engagement on Sunday.

He further added that despite the closure of the country’s land borders, surveillance on the country’s western border, in particular, will be strengthened.

“We are going to heighten the public health surveillance at our borders, especially the Western border where we have Ivory Coast and countries where we have discovered the virus. Currently, the borders are closed, we have to ensure that those necessary checks are done for those who will enter illegally. So we are currently collaborating with the Immigration Service to ensure that these things are sorted out. We are equipping our port health staff, so they can screen and look at that. ”