By Frank Kamuntu
The Ministry of health has today officially declared the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak which occurred in Kasese District through its Press release.
The declaration comes after completion of 42 days of the post-EVD surveillance countdown period for the contacts of the last confirmed case, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement for declaring an end to an outbreak of any Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF).
On August 28, 2019, Uganda received an imported case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kasese District.
The Ministry of health confirmed and the case following laboratory tests conducted at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), who later succumbed to Ebila Viral Disease (EVD) on August 30, 2019.
The confirmed case was a 9-year-old female of Congolese origin who traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with her mother on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 after the child and her mother who originate from Majengo district, of Lubhiriha in DRC, entered the country through Mpondwe Main Border post to seek medical care in Bwera, Kasese District.
On entrance, the child was identified by the Point of Entry (PoE) screening team with the following symptoms: high fever, body weakness, rash and unexplained mouth bleeding after she was subsequently isolated and transferred to Bwera hospital Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) for further management.
At Bwera, a blood sample was drawn immediately and sent for testing at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and confirmed positive for Ebola Virus on August 29, 2019 although the girl passed away and upon the request of the father, the body was repatriated to DRC for safe and dignified burial.
In response to the outbreak, Uganda enhanced surveillance in the entire country but registered no other confirmed EVD patients. Today marks 42 days since the death of the last confirmed case, heralding news confirmed by the health ministry that the EVD outbreak which occurred in Kasese district has been contained.
For the above fact, the Ministry of Health has appealed to general public to embrace the following prevention measures in order to avoid spread of Ebola:
• Health workers should be mindful of infection prevention procedures including; wearing gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment when taking care of ill patients
• Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and clean water
Avoid direct contact like shaking hands and hugging with any person suspected or infected with Ebola
• All persons who have died of Ebola must be buried immediately by a trained burial team and accorded a safe and dignified burial to prevent spread of Ebola
However, Uganda remains on high alert for any eventualities following the ongoing EVD outbreak in DRC, the ministry continued to appeal to the public to remain calm and vigilant and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility or call their toll-free number 0800-100-066 for appropriate guidance.
The Ministry says government of Uganda as evidenced in the quick and robust response to the just-ended Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, it is committed to protecting the population by ensuring that all measures are in place for early detection and immediate response to all viral haemorrhagic fever outbreaks.