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Saturday,October 24,2020 00:22 AM

Ebola kills Dr Lukwiya

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th December 2000 03:00 AM

DR. Matthew Lukwiya, the Medical Superintendent of Lacor Hospital, is dead. He contracted the deadly Ebola virus from his patients.

DR. Matthew Lukwiya, the Medical Superintendent of Lacor Hospital, is dead. He contracted the deadly Ebola virus from his patients.

By Vision reporters DR. Matthew Lukwiya, the Medical Superintendent of Lacor Hospital, is dead. He contracted the deadly Ebola virus from his patients. Lukwiya, who has been spearheading the battle against Ebola, died at 1.20am yesterday morning despite an intensive five-day supportive treatment by Ugandan doctors, American and WHO experts. Doctors said prior to his death, Lukwiya bled from the lungs and breathed with difficulty, prompting them to put him on an oxygen supply machine. He was buried in the hospital cemetery in the afternoon, next to the grave of Dr. Lucille Corti who contracted HIV while treating patients in the same hospital. Lukwiya, 43, is survived by a wife and five children. Relatives and friends are holding a requiem service at the All Saints Cathedral today at 2.00 pm. The Minister of Health, Dr. Cryspus Kiyonga, and the Director General of Health Services, Prof. Francis Omaswa, yesterday flew to Gulu in a Police helicopter to attend the burial and talk to medical workers in Gulu. Dr. Ray Arthur, the WHO Ebola coordinator in Gulu, told Reuters that Lukwiya possibly had a little protection lapse. "Ebola virus is not very forgiving. One little mistake is enough to infect an individual," Arthur said. According to health ministry officials, Lukwiya became the 14th medical worker and the 156th person to die of Ebola since it broke out in September. Other health workers who have died of Ebola include 12 nurses and one medical assistant. A total of 22 health workers have caught the disease from their patients. Dr. Alex Opio, assistant commissioner in-charge of national disease control, said the situation was not out of control. He said the medical workers were using the proper protective wear but were fatigued due to understaffing. He appealed to medical workers not to lose heart. "Death is very painful but one has to quickly come to terms and accept the realities of life. It is human to feel sorrowful but they (health workers) remain with the responsibility of taking care of the patients," Opio said. The Ministry of Health has launched an appeal to medical workers from other parts of the country to volunteer for training and deployment in Gulu and Masindi to help in the management of Ebola patients. "Ebola is a very intense condition which needs 100% concentration. To remain alert for three hours is very difficult. We should get support from outside the district so that the nurses work for only four hours instead of eight," he said. He said the ministry had initiated a process of using the Workers Compensation Act to compensate the families of the medical workers who died of Ebola. "I cannot tell you that the compensation will be next week or the other week but the process has started," he said. At least 399 people have suffered from Ebola in Gulu, Masindi and Mbarara, of whom 156 have died while 286 have been discharged after fully recovering. Others are still receiving treatment. Opio warned against complacency, saying Ebola was still prevalent and people could catch it from contact with patients or dead bodies. "The big news is that Ebola is still with us and people have to be alert," he said. Ends.

Ebola kills Dr Lukwiya

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