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Tuesday,October 15,2019 02:46 AM

Tourism in Kasese thrives

By Titus Kakembo

Added 15th July 2019 02:20 PM

The entries of Command Post Station (CPS,) hospitals, schools and worship houses are graced with hand washing utilities. Messages scream loud and clear in Kiswahili, Lukonjo, French and English, asking everybody to wash their hands.

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A public address vehicle anouncing the dangers of ebola and how to deal with it besides preventing it. (Photo by Titus Kakembo)

The entries of Command Post Station (CPS,) hospitals, schools and worship houses are graced with hand washing utilities. Messages scream loud and clear in Kiswahili, Lukonjo, French and English, asking everybody to wash their hands.

TOURISM  EBOLA
 
With irresistible tourist attractions like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and Rwenzori National Park a stone's throw away from Kasese, rumours of the Ebola diseases are not stopping traders, tourists and travellers.
 
Instead, the Ministry of Health has not stayed on their laurels, as the old adage has it but folded their sleeves and braced everybody for any eventuality.
 
 The entries of Command Post Station (CPS,) hospitals, schools and worship houses are graced with hand washing utilities. Messages scream loud and clear in Kiswahili, Lukonjo, French and English, asking everybody to wash their hands.
 
The silence on the treed streets is often broken by sirens as ambulances swish by taking a suspect for laboratory tests. Along: Katalikibi Street, Stanley Street, Rwenzori Street, business goes on, as usual.
 
This follows assurance from the Minister of Health Jane Aceng said Uganda is safe as health workers are seen in full protective suits on public address systems patrolling the town.
 

 An agricultural soil scientist at work in the rural Kasese area. (Photo by Titus Kakembo)          

 
 “This follows vaccinating 300 frontline health workers as a preventative measure.” Aceng added that, “Uganda has everything it needs to contain Ebola.
 
Come Sundays and believers used to hugging or shaking hands with the person next to them are rubbing fists, nodding or engaging each other in a staring contest.
 
Social gathering in pubs and dance halls have clients chat but keep a distance from each other. Radios, digital media and other communication channels are hollering themselves hoarse about Ebola symptoms and how to avoid infection.
 
“This Ebola makes HIV a better disease,” said Jane Nagudi. “Ebola, unlike HIV, has no preventive measures or ARV to live with it. You get it and hasten to write your will.”
 
Burial ceremonies in Kasese have also changed where relatives dare not touch a dead loved one, who had symptoms like: coughing blood, persistent headaches and fevers.
 
“There are specially dressed people, with Red Cross, who undertake the burial,” said Agume. “This business of waiting for relatives from abroad or Kampala is no more. They bury very quickly to avoid infection. That is what happened to James Mugaga in Kijungu village.”
 
People with a culture of mopping the forehead and eyes of the dead have been halted from, doing it on those suspected of having died of Ebola because they risk infection.
 
At Mpondwe Primary School (MPS) are wash taps at the entrance and in the playground.
 
“Forewarned,” says the MPS headmaster Paddy Mwesigwa, “as our ancestors coined the phrase means forearmed. The pupils and their teachers are washing their hands whenever they are by a tap.”
 
The Mpondwe town Local Chairman LC3 Sylvestor Masereka says, they have linked hands with NGOs about how to prevent Ebola infection. True to his word, as one walks the treed streets public address systems punctuate the hum of motor engines.
 
“How I wish security organs close our porous border points,” says a Bodaboda operator John Manishiwa echoing a widely shared view.
 
Asked about the proposal, the district internal security officer, Lt Johnson Tashoba, said the border was well guarded and asked the health team to screen everyone crossing from DR of Congo to Uganda.
 
“We are not taking any chances,” confided Tashoba. “This follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) report on June 10 which declared an Ebola case in Uganda.”
 
WHO has donated more than $10 million (about Shs37 billion) in response to the outbreak of Ebola in Uganda. The Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Aceng, asserts how the country is ready to confront the epidemic.
 
And the flesh peddlers display their ware in the night under tree shades on Stanley Road. They interact with visitors from across the border and tourists destined to scale Mount Rwenzori or Queen Elizabeth National Park.
 
Although records have it that since it hit the DR of Congo, 1500 have lost their lives, some schools of thought believe the Ebola epidemic is a creation by NGOs with the aim of getting money from funders.
 
 

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