After a suspected case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was reported and investigated at Lacor hospital in Gulu district, with results coming out negative, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health on Thursday issued preventive guidelines to curb the deadly disease.
“The Ministry of Health wishes to inform the public that there is no single case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD that has been confirmed in Uganda, a press statement signed by Prof Anthony K. Mbonye, the Ag. Director General Health Services, Ministry of Health, confirmed following reports on 30th May, 2017 indicating that a 19 year old adult female from Mocope village, Paridi parish, in adjumani district, had contracted Ebola.
“She presented to the hospital Out Patient Department (OPD) with history of vaginal bleeding, fever, lower abdominal pain, vomiting and difficult breathing. The suspect was held at the hospital isolation facility and samples taken from her.
Results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) however, indicated that the case tested negative for all Ebola viruses and other hemorrhagic fevers such as, Marburg, Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever and Rift Valley fever,” Prof Mbonye said indicating the country’s heightened alertness and reaction following the news of the suspected case.
On high alert, the Ministry of Health has strengthened its efforts to prevent any possible spread of the epidemic to Uganda, through the following measures:
1. Screening of travelers at Entebbe International Airport; all travelers from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are being screened at the Health desk for Ebola signs and symptoms. The Screening targets all passengers who has a history of travel of not less than 21 days to the DRC.
2. The passengers are required to complete a screening form and an information leaflet about Ebola and contact numbers of surveillances are given to all no-symptomatic passengers. A private Medical Centre at the airport has been equipped to provide counseling and clinical screening of all suspects. A standby ambulance with driver and relevant protective gear has been provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is available twenty four seven.
3. The Ministry of Health has instructed leaders in the districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Hoima, Buliisa, Nebbi, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Kibaale and Kabale to reactivate the District task Forces in preparations for any possible outbreak.
These taskforces are assigned to conduct a rapid assessment on importation of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases through their districts, review and update district EVD preparedness and response plans, and establish ground crossing requirements (temperature screening/verbal screening/hand washing/IEC materials) to limit the risk of EVD importation while avoiding unnecessary interference in trade and travel. They are also expected to ensure adequate community information and heightened surveillance by frontline health workers in all health facilities.
4. Isolation facilities in Bundibugyo district and Entebbe airport have been set up to attend to any suspected case. Health workers have been oriented on handling Ebola patients including infection control and supportive care.
The ministry in the press statement urged travelers to cooperate with the immigration, Health and Security officials to ensure effective screening at all entry points and keep Uganda free of Ebola.