By Andrew Irumba
Kasese: There is untold fear is parts of western Uganda after cases of people suspected to be infected with Ebola being registered in areas of Kaseses district.
This comes after a mother and her son who entered Uganda from the Bwera border crossing located in Kasese District from DRC on June 9, 2019, testing positive with Ebola. The two had travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo last week to attend the burial of a relative. On their journey back, they returned with four other relatives, two of whom have so far presented with symptoms of Ebola. According to the World Health Organization, the family sought treatment at Kagando Hospital where Health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness. The Child was later transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for Management while awaiting results of medical tests from the Uganda Virus Research Institute.
We have learnt that the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) have since dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill. People who have been in contact with someone with the disease are vaccinated and asked to monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they do not become ill as well. Currently, the Ministry of Health is ready to carry out ring vaccination of all persons believed to have come into contact with a confirmed Ebola case in Kasese district. The vaccination is scheduled to start on Thursday, June 14, 2019. Health Minister Dr Jane Aceng says that “The Health Ministry surveillance teams are carrying out contact tracing to establish who else might need vaccination. A total of 1,170 doses are available at the moment for the vaccination exercise that is expected to start this week.”
So far eight people who had contact with the boy are under surveillance. The vaccination will cover all persons suspected to have come into contact with a five-year-old boy, who tested positive to Ebola on Tuesday, June 11. The devastating news of Ebola in Uganda comes ten months’ after an outbreak of the deadly viral disease was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August last year. As of June 4, 2019, a total of 2025 Ebola cases had been recorded, they include 1931 confirmed and 94 probable cases. A total of 1357 deaths were reported, a case fatality ratio of 67 per cent.