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Title: Southern African Development Community preparedness to the Ebola outbreak: A review of 8 countries

Authors: Talkmore Maruta

Topic: Public Health



West Africa is currently experiencing the largest Ebola epidemic to date with 4,555 deaths from confirmed cases reported by October 2014. The diseases that currently does not have an approved treatment, is managed by managing pain and provision of supportive care. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is still not affected by Ebola. However, countries have put in place measures to protect its citizens. It is only recently that the SADC countries called for a coordinated approach  


An internet search using “Google” search engine was done using key words of Ebola, SADC, and preparedness. Online sources of national and international meeting reports, newspapers articles, World Health Organization press releases, ministerial calls and other institutions comments and publications on the SADC region’s preparedness for the Ebola epidemic were used. Results were grouped into themes and data presented in a tabular form.


All countries have employed screening of travelers at all entry points of port, airport and borders using fever detectors or completing a screening survey questionnaire. Two  have imposed travel bans to and from West Africa. All SADC countries have preparedness plan in place. A training was conducted in South Africa on case detection, care and management for all SADC member states. Four of the countries have set up and appropriately equipped “Isolation centers.” Only South Africa has a laboratory capable of isolating the Ebola virus.        


A coordinated regional approach is required to effectively put measures in place for preventing entry of Ebola into SADC as well as managing the infected persons in case of infection. More research is required to have accessible diagnostic tools and treatment of the diseases.  

Key Words: Ebola, SADC, preparedness. 


    COMMENT - 1

  • TSHIMWANGA KATAYI EDOUARD (Viewer) 29th Jan 2015 - 2:31 AM
    The article is very nice, well-presented, and gives a global view on the SADC countries preparedness in response to the global threat of the West Africa EBOVD epidemic.
    However, just two short questions and remarks.
    - In table one it is indicated that two countries, South Africa and Mauritius have a diagnostic facility for EBOVD. But in the text, results and conclusion, it is stated twice that only South Africa has the diagnostic facility.
    - You reviewed preparedness plans for 8 of the 15 SADC countries. But yet the inference on Ban truck drivers to and from West Africa is made on ALL the SADC countries.

  • COMMENT - 2

  • REGINA EROMOMEN OWHE (Viewer) 29th Jan 2015 - 3:34 PM
    Ebola, when it was diagnosed in Nigeria,there was panic in the society,fear gripe the citizen ,no hand shake, until now people still go about with their hand sanitize. Good work

  • COMMENT - 3

  • AVI NAHAR (Viewer) 7th Feb 2015 - 8:38 PM
    Dear Talkmore Maruta,
    Interesting article considering the very hot topic on search engine. Developing nations too are on high alert for Ebola prevention. However, right training tools & educational programs are literally missing for the common man. Even the security personnel at airports are unprepared for screening of infected individuals. A good disaster management plan & preparedness for the outbreak is actually an indicator of a Healthy nation. Mass awareness & training at the grass root level should be conducted for a robust preparedness plan.The same needs to be done for all medical & paramedical field force. Ironically, Many Labs are still unaware of how to go about sample collection & where to send the sample for testing.