The Ugandan Minister of Health, Hon. Christine Ondoa has said that five people are being monitored by a surveillance team over Ebola outbreak in Luweero District, 70 km out of Kampala District.
While addressing the press yesterday at the media center, Hon. Ondoa said, “Currently, there are five suspects closely being monitored by our surveillance team. One is admitted at Bombo Military Hospital, two at Mulago National Referral Hospital Isolation facility while three are still in the communities. Those admitted have an epidemiological link with the index family and nursed the earlier two who were confirmed to have died of the disease.”
Ebola which erupted in Luweero has already claimed three lives barely a month after Uganda was declared Ebola free. Ondoa said that the Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that another Viral Hemorrhagic fever, Ebola, has broken out in the country. This followed confirmation from the laboratory investigations done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe that two people, all from one family in Kakute sub-county, Sambu parish in Nyimbwa sub-county, Luweero district, had died of Ebola, the Sudan strain.
She added that a total of three people have since the onset of the outbreak died in Luweero district located in the central part of the country. The first case, a boda-boda rider, died on October 25th after
presenting with signs of high fever and bleeding from some body parts. However, no samples were taken from this case as it was not reported to the health facility.
“The second death occurred on November 10th 2012 at Nyimbwa Health Center IV. This was 25-year-old woman who had had nursed the boda-boda rider. She too, presented with signs and symptoms of Ebola. The third case, also from the same family occurred on October 12 at Nyimbwa Health Center,” vividly troubled Ondoa said.
However, she reassured the public that the Ministry of Health and its partners have to this effect moved fast and beefed up all the necessary measures to control the spread of this highly contagious disease.
So far, a team of experts from the Ministry, World Health Organisation, MSF, AFENET are already on ground to support the response plan and a national taskforce coordinated by the Ministry of Heath has now refocused its attention to the Luweero epidemic since the Marburg situation in western Uganda is fully under control.
Plans are underway to create an isolation facility at Nyimbwa Health Center IV or Bombo Military Hospital while the Luweero district taskforce has been reactivated and is developing a response plan.
Active and sustained tracing and listing of all possible contacts that were exposed to the suspected and confirmed cases are in high gear. So far, a number of contacts have been recorded and are closely being monitored.
The isolation facility at Mulago National Referral Hospital has already been reopened and has admitted two suspect cases and collection of samples from suspect and probable cases has already commenced. Last evening, two samples from taken from suspect cases admitted at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
With the above measures, the Ministry of Health is confident that the outbreak will be effectively controlled and there should be no panic among the population.
Reported By Nicholas Mwesigwa