Health Ministry Downplays Calls to Declare Kasese Ebola-Free Top story

2363 Views Kasese, Uganda

In short
A call had been made by the District Deputy Resident District Commissioner Joshua Masereka for the district to be declared Ebola-free on grounds that disease had been contained with no new infections recorded since the first group which was confirmed on June 11, 2019.

The Ministry of health has downplayed calls to declare Kasese district free of the Deadly Ebola Virus. 





A call had been made by the District Deputy Resident District Commissioner Joshua Masereka for the district to be declared Ebola-free on grounds that disease had been contained with no new infections recorded since the first group which was confirmed on June 11, 2019.




Three people tested positive to the Ebola epidemic in the western Uganda district. Two of the victims eventually died and were buried in Kasese while the third victim who was repatriated to the Democratic Republic of Congo for further therapeutic management died before he could reach Beni where the Ebola Treatment Centre is located.  



The remaining suspected fourteen cases tested negative and have since been discharged from the Ebola Treatment Unit at Bwera Hospital in Kasese. Masereka said it was clear that the district has contained the disease and perhaps it was time the ministry declared Kasese free of the monstrous disease.




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But Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng argued that much as Uganda has contained the disease, there remains an imminent threat posed by the persistence of the deadly disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC has been grappling with the Ebola Virus Disease since August 2018. 


More than 1500 people have succumbed to the viral disease since it was first registered at Mangina in the North Kivu Province, a fatality rate of 67 per cent.


Aceng argues that the fact that the DRC still has the epidemic, the chances of it spilling over are high adding that until the DRC is free of the disease; Uganda will not declare an end to the outbreak unless advised otherwise by the World Health Organisation (WHO).


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Aceng told health workers who convened at Margarita Hotel in Kasese town that it takes 21 days for Ebola symptoms to emerge and stressed that during that window period one should avoid contacts with the Ebola suspects to break further infections.


Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for World health Organisation- Africa appealed to Ugandan health workers to remain focused and vigilant in the fight against the Ebola Virus.  Moeti said that the world health body is committed to supporting Uganda in preventing the spread until the DRC is also free of the disease. 



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The incubation period for Ebola Virus Disease ranges between 2-21 days after infection, according to guidelines by the WHO and CDC. During this time, it is believed that individuals infected with the virus are not contagious. The Mean incubation time for the 2000 Uganda outbreak, with a total of 425 cases was calculated at 4 days.

 

About the author

Kule Jerome Bitswande
Jerome Kule Bitswande is the URN pioneer Bureau Chief-Kasese.

He's passionate to write about public policy, culture and politics.

Before joining URN in April 2018, Jerome had written for Radio One and Two, The Observer and New Vision.

Jerome strongly believes that it is only the common man that has the untold story. And it is that untold story whose narration he wants to be party to.

The two-time Award Winner with Media Challenge Initiative also believes the Kasese and entire Rwenzururu story is yet to be told; it's against that background that when URN assigned him to his cradle, he did not give it a second thought.

Todate, he's fondly called the Rwenzururu Royal Guard by peers and workmates.