Health Minister Declares Luweero Ebola Free

3088 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
On November 14, 2012 ministry of health announced the Ebola Sudan outbreak at Kakute Village in Nyimbwa Sub County after it claimed the lives of four people.

Ministry of Health and World Health Organization have declared Luweero district free from the Ebola Sudan Virus after 42 surveillance days elapsed without any new reported case. Christine Ondoa, the health minister and Dr Joacquim Saweka, the WHO country representative made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon at Nyimbwa Health Center IV, where an isolation was set up to handle Ebola victims. On November 14, 2012 ministry of health announced the Ebola Sudan outbreak at Kakute Village in Nyimbwa Sub County after it claimed the lives of four people. Three people narrowly survived because they received treatment after testing positive for the Ebola Virus.
As a result, the ministry placed the district under surveillance to curb the further spread of the disease. But this afternoon, Ondoa said that no new case has been registered since December 5th. She explains that the elapse of the 42 days without any new case means that they have managed to contain the spread of the disease in the district and country at large. Ondoa says that despite the fact that they have managed to control the epidermic, the ministry has not yet established how Muhammad Kabugo, the first Ebola victim contracted the disease. She says thatecological studies are still underway to establish how he got infected and the frequent outbreaks in the district to find ways to control it.
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The Country representative for World Health Organization Dr, Joacquim Saweka says that the Agency will offer support to Ministry of Health in carrying out studies to evaluate and form future response measures so that the virus is controlled and wiped out completely. In an exclusive interview with URN, Asuman Lukwago, the permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Asuman said that they suspect that residents could have contracted the disease as a result of eating bats and monkeys. He asked residents to review their eating habits, adding that the ministry is in the process of spraying chemicals against bats to control other outbreaks

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Although the ministry has declared Luweero Ebola free, health workers and authorities are still crying foul over lack of pay. Paul Lubowa, the Luweero Ebola Task Force chairperson says that until now the health workers who sacrificed their lives to control the virus are not yet fully paid because of ther failure by ministry of Health to release the remaining 84 million shillings. He says that they only managed to pay each of the health workers an allowance of 30,000 shillings out of 80,000 shillings they were promised.
He asked minister Ondoa to take up the matter and see that the money is released to settle even other debts. A support staff who talked to URN on condition of anonymity said that they engaged in the burial of Ebola victims but they were neglected by both the ministry and district. He also faults the district for keeping the budget for Ebola fight confidential so that they don’t know what they were supposed to earn and when. Joseph Okware, the Luweero District Health Officer also says that apart from the payment issues, the resources at Nyimbwa Health Center IV have been overstretched.Okware says that the only ambulance at the health unit was grounded because of the heavy workload. He asked the ministry to intervene and repair the facility equipment. Minister Christine Ondoa promised to iron out the complaints with help of permanent secretary Asuman Lukwago.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.