By Mustapha Jallow
Following reports of a confirmed case of the highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus in Dakar, Senegal, by the Senegalese Ministry of health, this reporter, on 31st August, 2014, paid a visit to the widely used Amdallai-Karang border crossing point to observe the state of preparedness and how travelers coming across the borders are checked and observed by Health personnel.
A senior security personnel at the border said they have received a directive on August 13th, from government to prevent entry into Gambia of nationals from Ebola hit countries, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. He also added that they have not received any directive from government to stop entry into Gambia of travelers from neighbouring Senegal.
The said security official noted that they are aware of the fact that some Nigerians and other travelers were refused entry into the Gambia. He said they are mindful that those refused entry could be smuggled into the Gambia via another illegal route around Amdalai. He however said security personnel were deployed to heighten security and safety.
A health personnel at the border told this reporter that travelers are checked before entering the Gambia.
It was claimed that they have protective gears and a place to take suspected cases.
The Health personnel have a Public relation exercise to conduct to build public confidence that we are prepared to prevent or handle outbreaks. The best way is to take the media on a conducted tour of all facilities. We hope this will be done with immediacy.