Mogadishu, January 3rd, 2015 H.E the Interim Minister of Health of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Ali Mohamed Mohamud, today briefed the media and confirmed that there are no cases of the ebola virus in Somalia.
H.E. the Minister spoke directly to the media in order to put a stop to false rumours circulating in the media and online of a man suffering from the virus in the town of Buulo Sharey. He stated: “As soon as we heard the rumours of a case of ebola virus in Somalia, we acted quickly and decisively to isolate the alleged victim, a Somali citizen named Abdulkadir Jinow Barow, and those who had been in contact with him. It very quickly became apparent that the man did not have the ebola virus, but he was nonetheless moved to Mogadishu as a precautionary measure and put through a rigorous series of tests by Ministry of Health doctors. He has now been given the all clear and we can state categorically that there has been no outbreak of ebola in Somalia.”
The man, Abdulkadir Jinow Barow, attended the press conference and spoke to the media. He stated: “I recently travelled to Guinea, where I run a successful business, and returned on December 26th. I was thoroughly screened at every stage of my journey as part of the procedures that are in place to halt the spread of ebola from the affected countries in West Africa to elsewhere. I was given a clean bill of health at each stage of my return journey, so I am very confused and upset by the rumour that I was carrying the ebola virus. As you can see, I am perfectly healthy.”
He continued: “I am very grateful to H.E the Minister of Health and his staff for the prompt action they took to disprove this rumour. The Minister assures me that there will be a full investigation into where this rumour came from, as it has wasted a lot of people’s time and caused a great deal of concern.”
H.E. the Minister concluded: “The Ministry of Health are cooperating with the Somali Police Force and the Ministry of Justice to investigate this incident and prosecutions may follow. Irresponsible reporting without the checking of facts or sources by some elements of the media, combined with the wildfire spreading of rumours on social media, could have caused widespread panic and potentially damaged the security and the prosperity of Somalia. It was only the rapid and decisive intervention of the Ministry of Health, working in close co-operation with other elements of the FGS, that averted that possibility, and I express my gratitude to them. I reiterate: there is no ebola in Somalia.”