Uganda + 1 more

Uganda intensifies Ebola screening in border districts

News and Press Release
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By Nelson Kiva

“We have revamped all our Ebola surveillance structures and committees in over 21 districts along the border with DRC,”a ministry official said.

The health ministry has intensified Ebola screening in all districts along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a report released on Wednesday, the regional office for Africa of the World Health Organization (WHO) said six new cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported in DRC four of whom have passed away.

It said all cases were reported in Beni Health Zone in the North Kivu province and the epicentre of the outbreak.

The epicentre of the current outbreak is close to Uganda’s border to the West.

Dr Allan Muruta, the Commissioner epidemiology and surveillance at the ministry of health, says that the latest reports on Ebola outbreak in Congo were worrying.

“We have revamped all our Ebola surveillance structures and committees in over 21 districts along the border with DRC,” he said.

The districts were surveillance and screening have been heightened include, Koboko, Yumbe, Maracha, Arua, Pakwach, Nebbi, Zombo, Buliisa, Hoima,Kikuube, Kagadi and Kyenjojo.

Others are Ntoroko, Kyegegwa, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Bundibugyo, Buyangabu, Kamwenge, Kasese, Rubirizi.

According to Muruta, the surveillance committees are chaired by the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs). “We have already briefed them on what to do,” he said.

Muruta, however, said their efforts to control the disease from spreading into Uganda have been made easy by the border closure.

President Yoweri Museveni on March 21 ordered for the closure of all Ugandan borders for both exits and entries in the set of measures he announced to deal with COVID-19 epidemic.

“With borders closed, it is difficult for Ebola to spread into Uganda. All cargo crews are being screened for both COVID-19 and Ebola before they cross over into Uganda,” Muruta said.

About Ebola

Ebola, is a viral hemorrhagic fever of humans and other primates caused by Ebola viruses, presents with alert signs and symptoms that include; bleeding through the eyes, nose, gums, ears, and private parts.

Other signs are sudden fever, feeling tired, muscle pains, headache, sore throat, vomiting blood, diarrhea and rash.

Ebola spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact, through broken skin or mucous membranes, blood, secretions such as urine, faeces, sweat of a person infected with Ebola, vomit, saliva and coming into contact with a person who has died of Ebola.

Ebola caused global alarm in 2014 when the world's worst outbreak began in West Africa, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.