Act on Ebola, DA urges govt

Cape Town - South Africa urgently needs a code of practice for health officials to deal with any possible outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD), the DA said on Monday.

"Without a code of practice, health officials across the country do not have national guidelines to mitigate a possible medical emergency arising from EVD," DA MP Wilmot James said in a statement.

He called on Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to urgently gazette such a code.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the Ebola outbreak in west Africa an international public health emergency.

To date, the outbreak has killed well over 900 people in the region. There is no licensed vaccine for the disease.

James said Motsoaledi should update regulations by listing Ebola specifically as a notifiable disease, and introduce a regulation specifying "how a corpse infected with EVD is to be handled".

Among other things, guidelines in the code of practice needed to include instructions on the management of waste and quarantine wards, as well as the cleaning, disinfecting, sanitising and sterilising of ambulances, health care facilities, beds, isolation facilities and operating theatres.

"In light of the declaration made by the WHO to internationally co-ordinate efforts to mitigate the spread of EVD, we reiterate our call for a National Ebola Task Team, comprised of recognised experts such as those at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, as well as relevant government officials, to ensure we comply with international standards and best practices," James said.

Nita Jacobs 2014-08-11 09:34:12 PM
Having meetings and actually doing something about a situation are two different things. I can sit and meet all day... suff still has to actually be done. Dont care who does it just stop meeting and start implementing
Sarisha Ramanand 2014-08-11 09:40:58 PM
The Ebola outbreak has attained international health risk status on our continent. It is the responsibility of government to ensure the safety of all South African citizens by taking it seriously enough to take every preventative measure at all border posts and ports. Not everything is about politics, there are certain things that actually merit attention from everyone.
Conrad Roos 2014-08-11 09:44:50 PM
They already have a plan in place. Patients need to take a 20min shower and eat some beetroot.
Renegade 2014-08-11 09:47:39 PM
God help is if Ebola reaches our shores by the time our clowns we call government react half the population will be dead. The eff will blame the whites again, u know the usual BS
Jaak Bezuidenhout 2014-08-11 10:23:42 PM
We will all die. Thank you anc
Anthoula Joshua 2014-08-11 10:34:25 PM
No!!! Don't tell me we don't have a National code of practise in place for such events. We have really become the same as these other African countries then. Shocking!!! We used to have one many moons ago.
George Gibbs 2014-08-12 04:17:33 AM
The ANC government will as usual set up a commitee to investigate if Ebola does exist, and wait nearly a year for a report on it. By that time we will all be dead because of the failing health system and lack of staff and medical supplies.
James Kiwalabye 2014-08-12 05:40:20 AM
May be it is already here!
Kirsty Prinsloo 2014-08-12 05:57:02 AM
I understand the Ebola scare but 1000 dead out of how many millions of people...feels like the media has blown this out of proportion.
Tiekie Black 2014-08-12 07:09:58 AM
SA will be caught with its pants down! once the first positive case break out here it will be late and would have spread i vote for no flights to and from these countries