The Ministry of Health has been thrown into panic after it emerged some of its own are suspected to have contracted the deadly ebola-like Marburg virus, Red Pepper can authoritatively report. Sheila Ndyanabangi, the clinical officer in the ministry is reported to be one of the 29 contacts the ministry has quarantined and for that reason she has been asked to go on forced leave for fear of spreading the disease to other workers.
This comes after one of Ndyanabangi’s unidentified relatives visited her from Kabale recently. The relative developed signs of Marburg, and luckily, as a senior medic, she was able to tell that something unusual was happening to the former.
The patient was rushed to Mulago for treatment and when her ‘superiors learnt of the shocking incident’ she was forced to stay home until she can be passed as free of the virus. An insider in her home who preferred anonymity told our reporter.
Red Pepper confirmed this development yesterday when she failed to turn up for the psychiatric conference she was expected to chair and present a paper. Instead she forwarded her written apologies through a workmate who represented her. The message reads in part; “First of all I begin by extending my sincere apologies, I was unable to chair this conference because a sick relative having Marburg visited me. And in turn I have been ‘forced’ to stay home until I am declared Marburg-free.”
The Ministry publicist Lukiah Nakamatte confirmed the news when we contacted her last night. “Yes Dr. Sheila is among the 29 contacts that are being monitored, we have taken her blood samples and we are waiting for the results,” Lukiah exclusively revealed.
However, she denied claims by Ndyanabangi that she was forced to stay home as written. “She was not forced to stay home but rather put under close watch,” Lukiah stated. The news confirms our earlier story that the deadly Marburg has hit Kampala city.
The country has been living in fear following the outbreak of Marburg Fever two weeks ago in the south western district of Kabale and has since claimed six lives.
(Additional Reporting By Nicholas Mwesigwa)