PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AFP) – Haitian authorities announced sanitary border controls Thursday to prevent Ebola cases from entering and spreading in the desperately poor country already in the grips of a deadly cholera epidemic.
The Ministry of Health stressed, however, that “no case of the virus has been detected or revealed so far” in Haiti.
But with more than 9,000 Haitians lives lost to cholera in three years, authorities are working hard to prevent another epidemic from hitting the country.
The Ebola outbreak originating out of West Africa has already killed nearly 4,500 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
The Haitian Ministry of Health unveiled a response plan to the deadly hemorrhagic fever that aims to “well equip the population and our health system in order to be prepared for any possibility and reduce mortality as much as possible.”
Among the measures, the government has opened an isolation unit at a base operated by the UN mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH.
And sanitary measures will be put in place at airports, ports and at the country’s land and sea borders.
At the international airport of the capital Port-au-Prince, the Ministry of Health plans to set up a space to place people suspected of being infected with the virus.
And audiovisual warning messages will also be broadcast to travellers.
Haitian authorities recently barred international agencies from recruiting Haitian volunteers to participate in missions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the most affected countries.