HEALTH workers want sh2b compensation, for their comrades who have died treating Ebola patients when the epidemic first broke out in 2000
By Agnes Nantambi, Vivian Agaba & John Agaba
HEALTH workers want sh2b compensation, for their comrades who have died treating Ebola patients when the epidemic first broke out in 2000, paid.
The government, after the death of Dr Mathew Lukwiya and 23 other health workers in 2000, under the workers compensation act, committed to compensating the families of the deceased professionals.
Following that outbreak in Gulu 14 years ago, several other health workers have died treating Ebola patients.
Dr Jonah Kule died in 2007, after the Bundibugyo outbreak while Dr Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro died treating Ebola patients in Liberia this year.
But neither family of the deceased health workers has been compensated.
“It is so sad that given the conditions our health workers work in, compensating their families still remains debatable,” Dr Sam Lyomoki, the Workers’ MP, said.
John Mitala, the head of public service, said the compensations have since accumulated to over sh2b.
Dr Mathew Lukwiya was killed by the virus during the outbreak in 2000.
This was during the 13th Dr Mathew Lukwiya Memorial Lecture organized by the World Health Organisation and the Uganda National Association of Community and Occupational Health.
Dr Lukwiya was the first medical doctor to sound an alarm about the deadly haemorrhagic fever in Uganda in 2000.
He made the fight against the disease his top priority, organizing an isolation ward for admission and treatment of cases and educating other staff on handling patients. It was a shame when on December 5, 2000, the doctor too, succumbed to the disease.
Ebola is caused by a highly infectious virus that spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, headache, a measles-like rash, red eyes and, at times, bleeding from body openings.
Initial symptoms of Ebola can be mistaken for other illnesses such as flu.
The Ebola virus was first detected in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the World Health Organisation, the disease has a fatality rate of up to 90%.
Health workers want sh2b for Ebola victims