By Goodluck Musinguzi
Ministry of Health had deployed more than 20 Ambulances, and several vans in Mubende and Kassanda districts to transport health workers after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced a 21-day lockdown that started immediately after his National Address.
Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health said all essential services would continue to be provided in Mubende and Kassanda districts. It’s the reason we have increased the deployment of workers and ambulances.
“It is a matter of time before we shall go back to normal. Trust your country to be able to do its best in sorting this challenge. Uganda’s Health Workers have demonstrated capacity before and they will do this again”, said Dr Diana Atwine in a statement.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced the deployment of ambulances, vans and essential needs to support health workers and teams that will be following up on contacts of the sick people.
The Ministry of Health will secure and deploy twenty (20) ambulances from various districts and Regional Referral Hospitals to the two districts for the continuity of essential health services.
The Ministry of Health will mobilize and deploy 10 vans for the transportation of health workers in the two districts.
Health workers with vehicles shall be given permits by the RDCs to move only within their districts.
Ministry of Health will provide PPEs to all registered health facilities (private and public) in the two districts.
Dr Diana Atwine said carrying food is absolutely acceptable, and she asked the security forces not to stop food transportation.
She was replying to a resident of the Mubende district who appealed to let bodaboda carry food and maybe other patients (not the Ebola cases). It’s unfortunate that they’re arresting every bodaboda, we are going to die of hunger, please intervene.
Dr Diana Atwine promised to let food transportation not the sick because ambulances are being provided to help the sick.
On September 20th, Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary announced the Ebola outbreak in Uganda, she elaborated that on the September 15, 2022, one suspected case-patient of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) was identified and isolated in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.
The suspected case patient was a 24-year-old male who lived in Ngabano village of Madiidu Sub-County in Mubende District.
He was a referral from St. Johns Medical Clinic in the East Division of Mubende Municipality where he had just been referred.
The patient presented with high-grade fever, convulsions, blood-stained vomitus and diarrhoea, loss of appetite and pain in swallowing. He also presented with chest pain, dry cough, and bleeding in the eyes.
“While in the isolation unit at Mubende RRH, he developed yellowing of eyes, tea-colored urine and complained of abdominal pain on September 17, 202 2. The clinical team took a sample from the patient having suspected a VHF. The sample was received at the VHF laboratory at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) on September 18, 2022, and results released on September 19, 2022, confirmed Ebola (Sudan strain) infection.”
A suspected case of Ebola may present with a sudden onset of fever, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding and yellowing of the eyes.
The incubation period for the Ebola Sudan variant is 2-21 days and like all other Ebola strains, this is a serious disease with significant morbidity and mortality.
The confirmed index case reportedly passed on early Monday morning and the body is still being kept there, awaiting safe burial.
Dr Atwine said more information is still being gathered concerning the possible source of infection and contacts for this confirmed case.
This is the second Ebola-Sudan strain in Uganda after the first case was reported in the Luwero district in 2012 but without secondary transmissions.
Since the beginning of the Month, the District Rapid Response team in Mubende has been investigating suspicious cases of suspected viral hemorrhagic fever following reports of six strange illnesses and deaths in Kiruma and Madudu sub-counties.
These were three adults and three children who died between September 1 and September 15, 2022.
Ebola is a viral, acute disease that can turn fatal if left untreated. Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest, human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit) from a person sick with Ebola or the body of a person who died from Ebola.
The public is urged to avoid physical contact with anyone with the above symptoms, continue washing hands and maintain good hand hygiene at all times. Avoid contact with body fluids that include urine, blood, sweat, saliva, vomitus, and stool.
Handling of dead bodies suspected to have Ebola-like symptoms should be supervised by the health team and undergo a safe and dignified burial to prevent further spread within the communities.
All public places in the country are urged to institute hand washing facilities at their premises.