SA ready to tackle Ebola: minister

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iol news pic Aaron Motsoaledi DoC Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is receiving treatment for pneumonia at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital. File picture: Ntswe Mokoena

Parliament - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Wednesday rejected claims that hospitals in the country were not ready to deal with an Ebola virus outbreak.

Replying to questions in the National Assembly, Motsoaledi insisted the 11 hospitals designated to deal with possible Ebola cases, and hospital staff, were fully equipped.

DA MP Wilmot James challenged Motsoaledi.

“You are on record saying that we are ready to deal with Ebola, but we know after visiting nine of the 11 hospitals... that three of those hospitals you designated are not ready to deal with Ebola because they lack deep contamination rooms,” James said.

Motsoaledi said information from experts who were part of the multi-sectoral national outbreak response team would contradict James.

“All the designated hospitals have received guidelines on viral haemorrhagic fever and Ebola virus... dealing with all aspects of diagnosis, isolation, treatment and even management of possible fatalities that may occur as a result of the Ebola virus disease,” he said.

In addition, protective suits and other equipment had been provided to the designated hospitals.

“There are 50 sets of these protective clothing in each of the hospitals except Charlotte Maxeke and Steve Biko, which have received a complement of 100 each, and Frere and Livingstone hospitals which have received a complement of 80 each.”

There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in South Africa. The outbreak was confined mainly to West Africa, where over 1500 people had died since March.


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