Legislators have put government on pressure to explain why it took long for the Ministry of Health to declare there was Ebola in Uganda.
Legislators have put government on pressure to explain why it took long for the Ministry of Health to declare there was Ebola in Uganda. The first media reports quoted health officials reporting an outbreak of strange disease in Kibaale District two weeks ago but it was not until late last week the outbreak of the hemorrhagic disease was officially confirmed.
At least 16 people are confirmed dead since the outbreak.
Hellen Asamo, MP representing the disabled in Eastern region, Ronah Ninsiima, the Kabaale Woman MP and Maracha MP Lematia Ruth Molly sought to know how health workers that die on the job would be compensated. One clinical officer died at Mulago national referral hospital on Saturday last week. The death of the clinical officer has sparked off queries over the safety of the medical officers at Mulago who had handled her case.
Ninsiima says government should provide travel advisory for public transport from Kibaale to other parts of the country as well as assist health workers who fall victim while handling Ebola cases.
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Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba urged the Ministry of Health to train health workers to deal with Ebola. Government, according to Niwagaba, should monitor its entire people especially in areas where the disease has struck before. He complained that it took long before the country knew what was actually killing its people.
Agatre Okuonzi, Vurra county MP noted that Uganda needed to learn from the past experience by first controlling panic in the country. He observed that the ministry has done what it can given the staff and financial constraints. The MP was, however, not impressed with the ministry’s effort to educate the public on the causes of Ebola, the origin and what to do in case of an outbreak. He says only President Yoweri Museveni has come out to tell the public what to expect.
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Health Minister Christine Ondoa, in a formal statement to parliament, told the legislators that the situation is under control. The ministry, according to Ondoa, has erected isolation facilities in Kagadi Hospital and additional help is on the way from medicine San Frontiers, Holland to help erect proper isolation structures in both Mulago and Kagadi hospitals. She also sought for help from the Defence ministry and the Prime Minister’s office. Ondoa says that a team of Ebola experts are already on the ground monitoring the situation.
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Spread by body fluids, Ebola was named after a small river in DR Congo where it was first diagnosed in 1976. It re-emerged in Sudan later the same year. Other outbreaks have been recorded in Ivory Coast, Gabon and Uganda.
Because of its scanty history, scientists have concluded that the strain is somewhat containable because it kills its victims faster than it can spread to new hosts.
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