Ebola confirmed in Uganda

By Nelson Naturinda

Added 11th June 2019 09:38 PM

Allan Bwambale from Masambu in the Democratic Republic of Congo had gone with his mother to attend the burial of his grandfather in Beni.

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Allan Bwambale from Masambu in the Democratic Republic of Congo had gone with his mother to attend the burial of his grandfather in Beni.


An Ebola scare has hit Kasese District following a case in which a boy, 5, got a fever and abdominal fever.

Allan Bwambale from Masambu in the Democratic Republic of Congo had gone with his mother to attend the burial of his grandfather in Beni.

 His grandfather was suspected to have died of Ebola. On return, Bwambale started feeling fever and abdominal pain, joint pains, and vomiting. The temperature on admission was high and the tests for Ebola turned positive.

The boy has been admitted and isolated at Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit as he undergoes further management.

Although there have been numerous previous alerts, this is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The child and his family entered the country through Bwera Border post and sought medical care at Kagando Hospital where health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness.

The child is under the care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera ETU, and contacts are being monitored.

The Ministry of Health and WHO have dispatched a Rapid Response Team to Kasese to identify other people who may be at risk, and ensure they are monitored and provided with care if they also become ill. 

Uganda has previous experience managing Ebola outbreaks. 

In preparation for a possible imported case during the current outbreak in DRC, Uganda has vaccinated nearly 4700 health workers in 165 health facilities (including in the facility where the child is being cared for); disease monitoring has been intensified, and health workers trained on recognizing symptoms of the disease. 

Ebola Treatment Units are in place.

In response to this case, the Ministry is intensifying community education, psychosocial support and will undertake vaccination for those who have come into contact with the patient and at-risk health workers who were not previously vaccinated.  

Ebola virus disease is a severe illness that is spread through contact with the body fluids of a person sick with the disease (fluids such as vomit, feces or blood).

 First symptoms are similar to other diseases and thus require vigilant health and community workers, especially in areas where there is Ebola transmission, to help make a diagnosis. Symptoms can be sudden and include; Fever, Fatigue,  Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat.

People who have been in contact with someone with the disease are offered the vaccine and asked to monitor their health for 21 days to ensure they do not become ill as well.

The investigational vaccine being used in DRC and by health and frontline workers in Uganda has so far been effective in protecting people from developing the disease and has helped those who do develop the disease to have a better chance of survival. 

The Ministry strongly urges those who are identified as contacts to take this protective measure.

Investigational therapeutics and advanced supportive care, along with patients seeking care early once they have symptoms, increase chances of survival.

The Ministry of Health has taken the following actions to contain the spread of the disease in the country.

The District administration and local councils in the affected area have been directed to ensure that any person with Ebola signs and symptoms in the community is reported to the health workers immediately and provided with advice and testing.

The Ministry of Health is setting up units in the affected district and at referral hospitals to handle cases if they occur.

Social mobilisation activities are being intensified and education materials are being disseminated.

There are no confirmed cases in any other parts of the country.
The Ministry is working with international partners coordinated by the World Health Organisation.

The Ministry of Health appeals to the general public and health workers to work together closely, to be vigilant and support each other in helping anyone with symptoms to receive care quickly. 

The Ministry will continue to update the general public on progress and new developments.

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