(English) Nepali peace keepers prone to Ebola virus

Nepali Women peace keepers in Nigeria. Image:UN
Nepali Women peace keepers in Nigeria. Image:UN

KATHMANDU, Nepal–At a time Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa has gone unchecked; commoners are panicked by the disease. Family members of those Nepali security personnel who are deployed in various nations in Africa are feared of the disease which has posed a threat of pandemic in the recent weeks.

Though the government is all set to establish a medical desk at the Tribhuvan International Airport, the sole international airport in the country to screen all arrivals from the countries that have witnessed the disease, and take other precautionary measures to control it, the panic is high among the kin of security personnel.

Hundreds of Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed force officers and personnel have been serving in various West African nations affected by Ebola virus. “I am worried whether my husband would be affected by the disease,” a woman whose husband has been serving in Liberia as UN peacekeeper told to Nepal Mountain Focus. She further said that she has asked him to apply precautionary measures such as limited movement in the station where he is assigned. Nigeria has a significant number of Nepali migrant labourers working in its factories, dance bars and restaurants.

Another woman who wanted to remain anonymous told this portal that it was an obligation on the part of the United Nations to ensure safety of her husband who is deployed in the peacekeeping missions.

All security agencies have also cautioned their staff deployed in UN peacekeeping missions in different African countries.

According to Nepali Army source, 15 NA staffers serving in Liberia while four Nepali soldiers have been assigned under the UN mission in Ivory Coast

Liberia, where many Nepali peacekeepers are deployed, has declared a state of emergency over the Ebola outbreak.

Likewise, the Armed Police Force (APF) stated that it has also cautioned its staffers about the possible transmission of the disease.

In the meantime, the government has decided to strictly monitor all those coming to Nepal via air or land routes from Ebola-hit countries, and even quarantine them if necessary.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll inflicted by the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa since February reached 1,013 and the number of people infected totaled 1,848.

Experts say the disease is a threat here too with a case detected in southern neighbour India with which Nepal shares a long open border.

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