MoH issues alert after Ebola death in Uganda, gives numbers to report cases

A long shot of the office of the Ministry of Health. It has announced preventive mechanisms against Ebola outbreak in Uganda and DRC. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Ministry of Health has issued an alert saying that it is adequately equipped to prevent any influx of Ebola into the country, following one death linked to the disease in Uganda on Tuesday.

In a statement released to newsrooms on Wednesday evening, the ministry listed seven preventive mechanisms targeting travellers who are coming from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo- where the disease was first noted in August 2018.

One of the measures the Government has cited is the setting up of National Ebola Preparedness and Response Contingency Plan which it said will combat the spread should there be a case. It has also put the health workers in various facilities on high alert to be watchful of various patients taken ill.

There is also the Ebola Rapid Response Team (RRTs) comprising health workers and scientists who were involved in fighting the disease in 2014-2016 in West Africa.

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According to the statement, travellers coming from Uganda and DRC are to be subjected to mandatory screening using thermos-scanners and hand-held thermo guns. This it said will cover even Wilson Airport which involves domestic flight.

Upon the detection of an infection, the ministry said that the patient will be isolated to Ebola Treatment Units, which it said are found in Kenyatta National Hospital and other temporary rooms at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

It added that there are pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical equipment, and hand hygiene supplies at the entry points of the country.

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It has further appealed with members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious cases.

Statement partially read: “We appeal to members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspected cases of persons presenting above symptoms and with a history of recent travel to affected countries, to the nearest health facility or Health’s Emergency Operations Centre through the following hotlines 0732353535/0729471414.”

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This follows the death of a 5-year-old boy in Kasese, western Uganda yesterday, who was reported to have travelled to Congo recently.

Today, Ugandan media reported that the Ugandan government was on high alert after the grandmother and brother of the deceased tested positive for Ebola.

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