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SADC takes preventative measures against Ebola

SADC health ministers met to implement measures to stop Ebola from spreading to Southern Africa.

A picture taken on 24 July 2014 shows a staff member of the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse spraying product as he treats the premises outside the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says urgent measures have been put in place across the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Motsoaledi says South Africa will send a mobile lab to West Africa, where the disease has claimed the lives of 932 people.

The virus started spreading in remote regions of Guinea in March before reaching parts of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Nigeria has also recorded a few suspected cases.

SADC health ministers met in Kempton Park on Wednesday to discuss the outbreak.

Motsoaledi says officials will scrutinise travellers from countries affected by Ebola, to ensure the virus isn't brought to South Africa.

"We are being warned who is coming. They are not just coming anonymously. If there is going to be a traveller from that area, we will be warned who they are, that they've already been screened and [we'll ask questions about] where they've left."

He also says the fight against Ebola is not government's alone and everyone must take precautionary measures to avoid contracting the virus.

Ministers have agreed at least one hospital has been identified in each of the country's nine provinces to deal with any cases should they be reported.

"It's not only the government that must take action. It's also the citizens. I know there is a problem like this around the world, I need to wash my hands and health workers know that if they are dealing with people that are suspicious. They need to wear gloves and protective clothing."

Watch: Ebola - Inside a Sierra Leone hospital

The health ministers have also discussed ways to establish a regional fund that will be used to help member states in emergency situations.

OBAMA: TOO SOON TO EXPERIMENT

US President Barack Obama says it's too soon to send experimental drugs for the treatment of Ebola.

Obama says affected countries should instead focus on building a strong public health infrastructure.

The decision to use an experimental drug to treat two Americans infected with Ebola, while nearly 1,000 people have already died from the deadly epidemic has sparked controversy.

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