THE government has discouraged Zimbabweans from flocking to Nigeria in search of spiritual healing saying such pilgrims were at risk of contracting the deadly Ebola virus.
Health and Child Care minister David Parirenyatwa yesterday revealed that last week, 50 Zimbabweans returned from Nigeria where they had attended prayer sessions.
Ebola has killed more than 1 000 people in West Africa and countries bordering the affected countries, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, have shut their borders to travellers from these States as a way of curbing the virus.
Parirenyatwa said Zimbabwe had a low risk of having an outbreak, but warned that it could be jeopardised by visits to countries ravaged by the disease.
“Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as a whole is at low risk of Ebola, but we are on the lookout for it.
“We are closely monitoring everyone from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
“Anyone from those countries will be monitored daily for 21 days for any symptoms,” Parirenyatwa said at the Mpilo Hospital Donor Conference in Bulawayo yesterday.
“However, there is a worrying issue. Last week, 50 locals returned from Nigeria from prayer sessions with a prophet there. That’s a huge number. We appeal to Zimbabweans to immediately stop visiting those countries, unless it’s for an urgent issue.”
Zimbabweans, including high-profile politicians, have in recent years been traveling to attend renowned Nigerian prophet Temitope Balogun “TB” Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations’s healing sessions.