Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh and Nepal have taken measures to protect troops serving as UN peacekeepers in West Africa, and preventative measures at home.
Both the countries are monitoring the threat of the Ebola virus, reports Khabar South Asia.
Neither nation has any cases, but troops from both countries have served as UN peacekeepers in Central and West Africa for years.
Hundreds of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) personnel currently serve in such operations.
“We have cautioned our staffs to observe special precautions including limited movement to ensure that there is no infection of Ebola virus,” said APF spokesman Singh Bahadur Shrestha.
Nepal Police placed five officers returning from service in Liberia in two week quarantine for observation, Nepal Police spokesman Ganesh KC said.
About 490 APF personnel serve in Liberia, South Sudan and Sudan.
An additional 15 army staffers serve in Liberia and four others in Ivory Coast. Dozens of Nepal Police personnel are serving in various Ebola-hit African countries.
The Ebola outbreak, which began in Guinea in December according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), now includes the West African states of Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with 3,069 collective cases, including 1,552 deaths as of August 28th.
Senegal reported its first Ebola case on August 30th.
THE VIEW FROM BANGLADESH
With the largest number of peacekeepers in Africa, Bangladesh’s troops serve in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Ebola was first detected in 1976.
Saida Muna Tasneem, foreign affairs ministry director general to the UN, told Khabar South Asia the UN advisory on Ebola was sent to each soldier, asking they take precautionary measures.
“The government has decided to send personal protection equipment to our soldiers serving in the West African countries,” she said.
Major General Abul Kalam Azad of the Bangladesh army medical corps said soldiers would receive protective masks, gloves, caps, aprons, and shoe and eye covers.
The Bangladesh Health Ministry also launched a countrywide, 90-day Ebola alert on August 10th.
Medical teams were deployed to international airports, land ports and seaports to monitor incoming passengers, Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research Director Mahmudur Rahman told Khabar.
Nepal also is screening and quarantining travelers from Ebola-hit countries.
The government established health check desks at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport and various border checkpoints.
“The government has adopted all possible measures to control this epidemic in Nepal,” Minister of Health and Population Khaga Raj Adhikari told Khabar.