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Health Ministry on alert amid Senegal’s mysterious disease

Nov 25, 2020, 11:50 AM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe

Head of Epidemiology and Disease Control Center at the Ministry of Health has stated that an expatriate technical committee of epidemiologists, lab technicians, clinical and communication has been set-up to monitor the situation of an infectious mysterious disease in Senegal to prevent it from entering The Gambia.

A Senegalese medium last week reported an outbreak of a mysterious dermatological-type disease found on fishermen which is manifested with pimples on the face, arms, lips, private parts and watery eyes affecting over 1000 people that authorities have alleged to have been caused by the dumping of chemical product in the sea by an unknown vessel(s).

Sanna M. Sambou, in an interview with The Point said the Ministry of Health after receiving the information from the Senegalese health authorities started working on modalities of preventing an eventuality of the disease in the country.

“We are equally concern as a ministry that is why after receiving the report of a mysterious disease in Senegal from their authorities, we immediately set-up a health technical committee that comprises of epidemiologists, lab technicians, clinical and the communication team who have already meet for almost three times now to fully prepare for any eventualities of the illness in the country.”

“We do not only stop at that but also informed all our border health facilities in the country and specifically those in the coastal areas and including Barra where you find most fishing communities in.”

“And in our communities, the securities are there and officials from the Fishery Ministry are all on alert. So we are working closely with all our sister ministries to avoid any possibilities of the disease enter in the country. Equally we are also working on informing our fishing communities on the disease as well,” he said.

Mr. Sambou added that the only thing affecting their stance on the new mysterious disease is the unfamiliar nature of the infection; that whether it is communicable or as a cause of chemical discharged in the sea; stating that such information has to be first established before any concrete evidence regarding the disease.

“What we are currently facing as a bottleneck is the unknown mode of its transmission and what might be the cause. As for now, we cannot even tell whether it is a transmissible disease or not.”

“But for now we are waiting on such kind of information from the Senegalese authorities that will help us to known whether it is as a cause of a chemical discharged in the sea or even transmissible or not. But for now we will advise those going to the sea to be mindful and avoid going deep as alleged where the origin of the disease is from.”

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