Uganda is Ebola-free - health ministry
Publish Date: Aug 19, 2014
Uganda is Ebola-free - health ministry
A woman looks at the obituary notices for medical staff who have died from the Ebola virus at the Kenema government hospital, in Sierra Leone. (AFP)
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ENTEBBE - There is no confirmed case of Ebola in the country, the ministry of health has said.

The suspected Ebola patient screened at Entebbe International Airport has tested negative for the deadly virus. 

"All alerts and suspected cases have tested negavative of the deadly virus since screening services began at the International aiport and at border points," the ministry of health said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Samples taken from the Nigerian national who is in her early 20s indicated that the patient suffered from malaria instead, according to a ministry statement.

The university student had presented with vomiting, headache, fever, yellow signs and was therefore a probable case of Ebola since she had travelled through Liberia, where the latest outbreak started.

This is the fourth suspected case identified at Entebbe airport that has tested negative for Ebola.

The Ugandan government is however reinforcing its screening services at the airport to cope with the high number of passengers, the health ministry said.

A Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical worker wearing protective clothing incinerates contaminated items after handling the body of an Ebola victim at the MSF facility in Kailahun. (AFP)

The screening services will continue to target passengers from the West African Ebola-ravaged countries either coming in directly or through connecting flights from the neighbouring countries of Kenya and Ethiopia, “ said Dr. Acen Ruth, the director General Health Services, in a statement.

“Since the beginning of the exercise on July 11, 2014, a total of 6,840 travelers have been screened at Entebbe International Airport.

“During the exercise, three suspects, two from West Africa and one from Southern Sudan were identified with signs and symptoms similar to that of Ebola but tested negative.

“It is important to note that all tests so far done at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) have yielded negative results for Ebola."

Uganda is on high alert after the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa

In an effort to prevent the epidemic from Uganda, the government has put in place measures to contain the outbreak;

  • An isolation facility at Entebbe Grade B Hospital has been equipped with health and medical supplies and is ready to receive and attend to any suspected case. The staffs have all been oriented on handling Ebola patients including Infection control and supportive care.
  • A private Medical Centre in the airport has been prepared for purposes of counseling and clinical screening of all suspects. A standby ambulance with a driver and relevant protective gear has been provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in case of any emergency.
  • All districts have reactivated their District Task Forces in preparations for any possible outbreak. These taskforces are assigned to ensure that there is local capacity to handle any suspects or cases identified, designate isolation facilities, re-orient staff on Ebola case definition, presentation and clinical management as well as Infection control measures. They are also expected to ensure adequate community information and heightened surveillance by the surveillance Focal Persons in conjunction with VHT's.
  • All health workers have been directed to strictly observe Standard Infection Prevention and Control measures in all health facilities. All health facilities have been directed to conduct orientation trainings on Ebola clinical presentation and Infection control and procedures for putting on protective wears. The Ministry of Health appeals to all travelers to cooperate with the Immigration, Health and Security officials to ensure effective screening at all entry points.

Also related to this story

Ebola suspect held at Entebbe airport

Infected Ebola patients flee after attack on clinic

Ebola crisis: In pictures

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