Zimbabwe can't conduct Ebola tests - ministry

Cape Town - Zimbabwe's health ministry has reportedly admitted it is not well equipped to deal with Ebola in the event of an outbreak in that southern African country.

News Day reported on Friday that the Zimbabwean government had no capacity to conduct tests to detect the deadly disease.

According to the report, officials in the ministry of health and child welfare said specimens from suspected cases of Ebola would be referred to South African laboratories for verification.

The Minister of Health David Parirenyatwa said the World Health Organisation (WHO) had already organised a courier service which would take any suspected Ebola case specimen to South Africa, the report said.

This comes as a Daily News report said earlier this week that Zimbabwe’s state of preparedness on the Ebola outbreak had been branded as worrisome by aid agencies.

Economic sanctions

Health experts warned that a lot needed to be done in terms of information dissemination and infrastructure development at hospitals to quarantine patients in case of an outbreak amid economic hardships and poorly-stocked state hospitals, the report said.

Ebola has claimed 1 552 in West Africa, according to the WHO, with 3 069 suspected or confirmed cases in the region.

The disease causes massive haemorrhaging and has a fatality rate of up to 90%. It is transmitted through contact with blood and other bodily fluids.

Reports say that Zimbabwe's health sector has been affected by brain-drain and funding constraints over the past 14 years.

President Robert Mugabe blames the poor state of health facilities on what he terms the West’s illegal economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.

mlindos 2014/08/29 12:51:13 PM
Infact what CAN Zimbabwe do for itself???
Jurgen Eksteen 2014/08/29 12:57:41 PM
What a massive risk Zimbabwe is proving to be to South Africa just by being next to us. Look at the cholera outbreak in Zim a few years ago. That's going to be pebble compared to the massive meteorite on it's way to Zim. If it takes hold there, then it's tickets for Zim.
Kelly O'Neill 2014/08/29 01:10:56 PM
Make that US vaccines too!!
Joy Thorpe 2014/08/29 01:12:42 PM
there we go - and AGAIN Zimbabwe is useless - close the border with Zimbabwe and don't accept any medical samples from them - let them rot!
Juanita Golgaves 2014/08/29 01:18:35 PM
ZimBOBwe can f.....off ! Keep Ebola in your useless country because there are too many white men and women, who will do the testing for your useless arse!! You will also be putting your good, hard working people you have lost to South Africa, in mortal danger as well.
Terence Wessels 2014/08/29 01:29:55 PM
Wow, what a shining example of a well run country Zimbobwe has become! Who needs to be the breadbasket of Africa, when you can be the basketcase instead? LMAO! Racist communist policies = starve guys. You can down thumb me a thousand times Zimbos, facts are facts.
DraconiaShadow 2014/08/29 01:30:57 PM
what do you expect from a country where a loaf of bread and some tomatoes costs you several billion dollars ?
Henno 2014/08/29 01:31:27 PM
Strange how all the pro-Zimbabwe supporters have noting to say ... odd, really really odd
Anastasia Minsk 2014/08/29 01:33:56 PM
courier their germs here. good idea..
Riaan van Niekerk 2014/08/29 01:34:17 PM
Instead of quarantining the Ebola virus everyone is doing their utmost to spread it. Let's fly this patient in, here you test this sample???