Cabinet approves R33m budget for Ebola response

2014-10-10 17:07

While no cases of Ebola have been reported in South Africa, the country is ready for a possible outbreak, says Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.

“It’s not that we are just starting now. We are just ramping up efforts to fight the virus that started in December,” he said today.

“We are still having no Ebola in South Africa.”

A ministerial advisory committee on Ebola had been appointed comprising private health care professionals.

Motsoaledi said Cabinet had approved a budget of R32.5 million to support Ebola preparedness and response activities.

South Africa started in March and strengthened efforts at major airports, especially the Lanseria and OR Tambo International airports in Johannesburg.

“Private health care practitioners were also put on alert,” he said.

They were given a 24-hour number to contact the National Institute of Communicable Diseases if they encountered a patient who possibly had Ebola.

Officials at ports of entry had been trained to deal with the disease.

Motsoaledi said the reason tests were being done on people coming to South Africa was to “settle the nerves” of the media who caused a frenzy.

“We are testing to settle your nerves. I hope we did settle those nerves,” he said.

“It is not acceptable, ladies and gentlemen, to have a media frenzy whenever we have someone with a fever and who bleeds. Bleeding is part and parcel of what the medical personnel see every day.”

Motsoaledi said he realised that “unnecessary panic” could be caused if people did not have the right information.

According to the latest toll from the World Health Organisation, the deadly virus has killed 3439 people in West Africa since the start of the year.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.