By Richard Drasimaku
The neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan should join the fight against the deadly Ebola disease, Arua resident district Commissioner Ibrahim Abiriga has said.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, Abiriga called for concrete measures to not only stop further spread of Ebola but also prevent future outbreaks.
The viral hemorrhagic fever hit Kibaale in western Uganda three weeks ago leading to the death of about 15 people so far.
As the cases of new infections continue to rise, Abiriga said the two neighbours of Uganda should not just sit back and look on.
"When the disease first hit in 2000, it was suspected to have come from Sudan and this time we believe it could have originated from the DRC or near the border," he said.
"The ministries of health in South Sudan, Uganda and DRC should actually collaborate in combating this disease," Abiriga added.
He said the district epidemic task force was to meet to come up with action plan aimed at sensitizing the population in the area about Ebola.
The key targets of the action plan would be to sensitise long distance travelers especially from Kibaale and surrounding districts who sell cattle, agricultural produce and local liquor known as kasese to areas in West Nile region.
Dr. Paul Onzubo, the Arua municipal health officer said due to the highly contagious nature of Ebola, it is more practical to raise the level of community sensitisation and prevent the disease from invading the area since the health units in Arua are ill-equipped to handle Ebola.