By Mbabazi Hanning
Kasese: The ministry of Health is currently following up at least 78 people after earlier reports of the Ebola eruption in the Western District of Kasese.
It was confirmed that three people have since tested positive for Ebola, two of whom passed on earlier.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng the Health minister said these will be followed up for the next 21 days warning that the country is still at very high risk given the porous borders and hence the need to reduce infections
“Right now in Uganda, there is only one Ebola suspect in isolation. Two were tested and turned negative and are out of our isolation area. We only have one whose sample is now at UVRI,” the minister added.
The ministry also received two multipurpose vehicles given by the WHO together with the Irish government to enhance capacity and response to the current outbreak.
Uganda has been on high alert ever since the Ebola break out was confirmed on Tuesday this week in the western district of Kasese after a year of the hemorrhagic fever ravaging neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Health officials have long feared that this outbreak of Ebola virus could pass over the porous border into Uganda. The border is over 500 miles long and many of the crossings are informal – sometimes just a couple of planks laid across a shallow river. An endless stream of traders, some balancing baskets of eggs on their heads or swinging chickens by their feet, moves back and forth across the border each day.
One of the main reasons it has been so difficult to contain the disease in DR Congo itself is because it is spreading in a conflict zone. Some 120 armed groups hide in the jungle-matted hills in the east of the country and regularly spring out of the bush to abduct or rape civilians. They make money smuggling minerals like gold and coltan, used in mobile phone batteries, or by plundering villages and stealing livestock.