Ebola Update: Isolation Ward Set Up in Bundibugyo Top story

2460 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
An isolation ward has been established in Bundibugyo district following reports of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo --DRC. The isolation ward has been set up at Nyahuka Health Centre III, two kilometres from the Uganda DRC border.

An isolation ward has been established in Bundibugyo district following reports of Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo --DRC. 

Last week, the World Health Organisation-WHO announced an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the Likati Health District, in a remote part of northern DRC.The isolation ward has been set up at Nyahuka Health Centre III, two kilometres from the Uganda - DRC border.

Dr. David Kule, the acting District Health Officer, says that the ward  has been set up as a precautionary measure and will be equipped with beds. He explains that the health department resolved to turn one of the non-utilised structures at the facility into an isolation ward. 

Kule says that suspected cases of Ebola will be treated at the isolation ward instead of transferring them to Bundibugyo Hospital or Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital.

According to Kule, they don't want to take chances, since there are frequent cross-border activities between traders from both countries. 

Steven Aguma, the Bundibugyo district health educator, says that communities living near the border have been sensitised about the signs of Ebola and told to look out for any suspected cases and report to health authorities.   

Uganda has reported Ebola outbreaks in Bundibugyo and Gulu districts in the past.  In 2007, 148 people were infected with the disease in Bundibugyo and 37 of them died. Among the dead were three medical workers Dr. Jonah Kule, the officer in charge of Nyahuka Health Centre, Rose Bulindigya, a senior nursing officer at Bundibugyo Hospital and Joshua Kule, the medical clinical officer Kikyo Health Centre III. 

All markets near the DRC border were closed for two months, affecting trade between Uganda and the DRC. 

In 2000, an outbreak of Ebola in Gulu also killed 224 people and infected 425. Among the dead was Dr Matthew Lukwiya who was at the time heading St Mary's Hospital, Lacor.

The World Health Organisation and the World Bank hailed Uganda for dealing with the Ebola epidemic. 

In 2014, Uganda secured a commitment from UN agencies to provide about 18 billion Shillings required for the proposed Ebola and Marburg Response Fund. The commitment was secured through a four-year Development Assistance Framework (2016-2020).

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.