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Wednesday,October 28,2020 21:13 PM

Doctor dies of Ebola in Mulago Hospital

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th December 2007 03:00 AM

A medical doctor and four health workers, who treated the first Ebola patients in Bundibugyo, have died of the disease. Dr. Jonah Kule, the medical superintendent of Kikyo Health Centre, succumbed on Tuesday night. He had been quarantined at Mulago Hospital.

A medical doctor and four health workers, who treated the first Ebola patients in Bundibugyo, have died of the disease. Dr. Jonah Kule, the medical superintendent of Kikyo Health Centre, succumbed on Tuesday night. He had been quarantined at Mulago Hospital.

By Vision Reporters

A medical doctor and four health workers, who treated the first Ebola patients in Bundibugyo, have died of the disease. Dr. Jonah Kule, the medical superintendent of Kikyo Health Centre, succumbed on Tuesday night. He had been quarantined at Mulago Hospital.

Senior clinical officer Joshua Kule, senior nursing officer Rose Bulimpikya, matron Peluce Tabiita and another nurse not yet identified died yesterday in Bundibugyo Hospital, according to senior clinical officer James Agaba.

In a statement yesterday, the health ministry said the number of Ebola cases had shot up to 91, after seven new cases had been recorded. The death toll has risen to 24. This includes Bundibugyo businessman, Maipeni Muliwabyo, who died on Tuesday. Eight of the Ebola cases are health workers.

Contrary to guidelines by the health ministry to immediately bury the victims, Kule’s remains will be taken to his home in Bundibugyo today and buried there. The Director of Mulago Hospital, Dr. Edward Ddumba, said precautionary measures had been taken and there was no risk of infection from the body.

Bundibugyo chief administrative officer, Elias Byamungu, said Kule could have been infected when he went to investigate deaths which locals had attributed to witchcraft. The Bakonjo had accused the Bamba of bewitching them.
“I warned Dr. Kule, but he insisted saying: ‘Let come what may. I must go down and investigate what is killing the people’. He investigated and he wrote a report. That report is helping the authorities,” said Byamungu, who sounded depressed.

Kule becomes the second medical doctor to die from Ebola in Uganda through contact with patients. The first, Dr. Matthew Lukwiya, died in Lacor Hospital in 2000 during the first ever outbreak of the disease in Uganda. In Kasese, a teacher who works in Bundibugyo, has been admitted at Bwera Hospital in Kasese with suspected Ebola.

“We have not yet confirmed if it is Ebola, but he complains of headache, joint pain, fever, chest pain and bleeding from the nostrils. We have isolated him,” the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr. Yusuf Baseke, said.

He appealed for protective gear for the hospital staff to be able to handle Ebola cases.

Meanwhile, health ministry sources said yesterday experts from the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ministry of Health were assembling the Ebola-testing machine at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe. Eight pathogen experts from the CDC also arrived in the country on Tuesday. The equipment was brought this week and is expected to be operational by the beginning of next week.

The machine will make testing for Ebola and other haemorrhagic viruses faster, and intervention quicker. Currently, samples have to be sent to laboratories in South Africa and the US, causing delays. The Ebola outbreak in Bundibugyo was only confirmed on November 29 after initial tests turned out to be negative, according to the health minister Dr. Stephen Mallinga.

The Bundibugyo Ebola strain is said to be different from any other known strain.
It is characterised by high fever, abdominal pain and diarrhoea and not so much internal and external bleeding.

Kabarole

The authorities at Buhinga Regional Hospital in Kabarole district said some patients had fled, fearing to contract Ebola. One of the patients who fled was a woman who had been put in isolation at the hospital after she vomited blood. She was classified as an alert case, though the results of her test had not yet come back. Radio stations in Fort Portal ran announcements for anybody who spots the woman to alert the authorities.

The Fort Portal Catholic Diocese, where a 13-year-old boy died from suspected Ebola on Sunday, has warned people to stop self-medication. The health coordinator, Sr. Euphrasia Masika, advised people to seek help from the nearest health units as soon as they suspect they may have contracted the disease. She warned that concealing the disease minimised their chances of getting cured.

Mbarara

Residents of Mbarara town have stopped their traditional culture of greeting with a hug and a handshake, fearing to contract Ebola. They have resorted to waving at each other.
This followed the death of a woman who was vomiting blood at Mbarara University Hospital. The woman was from areas near the hospital.

The Ministry of Health took samples of her blood for testing and buried her body immediately as a precautionary measure.
The management of all the banks in the town have instructed their staff to wear protective gloves before handling money from clients.

At Stanbic Bank, manager Enid Natukunda said it was the bank’s obligation to protect its staff. “They are all supplied with gloves. We cannot take chances,” Natukunda said.

Make-shift eating places have been hit hardest by the scare as patrons abandoned them, fearing contact with other people. Two Ebola taskforces have been set up at Mbarara Hospital.

(Anne Mugisa, Bizimungu Kisakye, Kyomuhendo Muhanga, John Thawite and Matthias Mugisha)

Doctor dies of Ebola in Mulago Hospital

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