Tanzania not sharing information on suspected Ebola: WHO

NAIROBI (AFP) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has accused Tanzania of failing to provide information on suspected cases of Ebola in the country, potentially styming efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The WHO said it had learned on September 10 of a suspected case of Ebola in Dar es Salaam, and information emerged that this patient’s contacts had been quarantined, and that the person had tested positive for Ebola. Two other suspected cases were unofficially reported.

“Despite several requests, WHO did not receive further details of any of these cases from Tanzanian authorities,” read a statement issued last Saturday. On September 14 Tanzanian authorities officially reported there was no Ebola in the country, but declined “secondary confirmation testing” at a WHO centre, the global body said.

Then last Thursday, the WHO was made aware that a contact of the initial patient was sick and in hospital.

“To date, the clinical details and the results of the investigation, including laboratory tests performed for differential diagnosis of these patients, have not been shared with WHO.”

The lack of information received by WHO meant it cannot determine the possible cause of the illness, it said.

“The limited available official information from Tanzanian authorities represents a challenge for assessing the risk posed by this event.”