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Ethiopia launches Ebola testing lab to combat epidemic

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

October 12, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health on Sunday disclosed establishing a modern laboratory centre in a bid to scale up the nation wide efforts to prevent entry of the deadly Ebola virus.

The modern laboratory which is known as Bio safety level 3 and 4 will start operating on Monday for screening and tasting purpose with the help of Ethiopian professionals who received training abroad.

According to Health Minister Dr. kesetebirhan Admasu, the country has introduced a new screening machine, called Thermo Scan Thermo Meter, which has a capacity of testing 1,000 individuals per hour.

As well as the new screening machine, other two thermo screening machines are currently operating at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport to test passengers particularly those coming from West African countries.

As part of the national Ebola prevention efforts, the minister said the government has slated over $3 million for emergency medical services.

He added the Ebola disease prevention technical committees will also be established in regions across the country.

National Technical Committee of Ebola disease protection Dr Daddi Gimma told Sudan Tribune that Ethiopia is currently offering Ebola testing and control measures 24 hours a day.

He said the disease testing and screening service is being conducted in a number of shifts at Airport to passengers incoming from 21 West African destinations.

Ethiopia and Sudan have also agreed to form a committee that would receive courses by specialists in the fields of combating epidemics and diseases in the wake of the Ebola virus threat.

The rapidly transmitting chronic disease which is sweeping West African countries has killed over 3,300 people.

No Ebola case has yet been reported in Ethiopia, the ministry said.

(ST)

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