In Uganda, to pass the Mpondwe border crossing point in Kasese, travellers must wash their hands to prevent the spread of Ebola virus disease.
The health screening tent at Mpondwe is the busiest on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The World Health Organization is supporting countries neighbouring DRC to prepare, detect and care for any person who becomes ill with Ebola.
The threat of the disease crossing over this very porous border is real. In June, three members of a family from DRC, who had entered Uganda seeking care, died from Ebola.
The incubation period for the Ebola virus is 2 to 21 days. The disease cannot spread until the infected person develops symptoms, including fever. Health volunteers check each traveller’s temperature. But it can be difficult to clinically distinguish Ebola from other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever and meningitis.
To reduce the transmission risk, the health workers wear gloves, face masks and goggles.
In DRC, 66 million traveller screenings have been conducted at national and international borders since the beginning of this outbreak.
WHO support to the Ministry of Health-led response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is aided by the African Development Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECHO, Gavi — the Vaccine Alliance, the Paul Allen Foundation, USAID, UK DFID, UN CERF, the Wellcome Trust, the World Bank, and the Governments of Australia, China, Germany, Norway, Republic of Korea and Sweden.