By Spy Uganda
The ministry of health has stepped up surveillance and Ebola screening at Entebbe International airport following the recent outbreak of the disease that has so far spread to over five districts in the country.
According to health officials at the airport, both inbound and outbound travellers are being subjected to the screenings and isolation centres have been set up at the airport if they confirm positive cases.
Dr Samuel Kigula, a port health officer at the airport revealed that this new infection has not caught them unaware since they have been having screening centres ever since Uganda reported the first case of the Congo variant in 2016 and 2018.
“Ebola screening was intensified in September when we heard of the outbreak in Mubende. We have all equipment to detect Ebola such as thermal scanners, and temperature guns to screen whoever is going or coming into the country,” he said.
Dr. Kigula further noted that from thousands of screenings conducted on a daily basis, they have not confirmed any positive cases of Ebola.
”We screen about 5,000 departing passengers and about 4,000 arriving passengers every day and we haven’t confirmed any Ebola cases yet. We set resting positions and isolation stations whereby if you are found with a high temperature, we put you aside to rest within an interval of 10 minutes plus, as we keep monitoring you and if your temperature persists in being high, we notify Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital where the response team is stationed to come on board then put you in an isolation centre whoever we haven’t had any traveller with persistent temperature,” Kigula added.
The manager of public affairs at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Vianney Luggya revealed that their health team is well-equipped to handle any emergency.
“We have a port health team that comprises experts and they are working hand in hand with the ministry of health. We have provided them with all the necessary facilities in terms of equipment and personnel, they aren’t doing this for the first time. So the people using this equipment have the experience that’s required and we have deployed this equipment in various areas of the airport,” Luggya said.
With the necessary delays that come with Ebola Screenings, Luggya has further advised travellers to plan their travels and arrive early to avoid any inconveniences and missing flights,
”It is advisable to plan for more time and ensure that you are at the airport at least three hours prior to your scheduled departure time to avoid unnecessary inconveniences and missing flights,” Luggya said.