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If We Are Not Vigilant, We Might End Up In An Ebola Lockdown - Dr. Samuel Oledo, President UMA

Following the Ebola outbreak in Mubende district, the Uganda Medical Association President Dr. Samuel Oledo has cautioned Ugandans to treat the Ebola outbreak with the seriousness it deserves lest the country is ready for dire consequences of the breakout.

Last week, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the cumulative number of deaths resulting from the Sudan Ebola strain in the country had reached 11 after registering three more deaths from the disease.

These added to the 25 cases already admitted for Ebola among which six were confirmed sick and 19 still presupposed.

Among the symptoms are fever, vomiting, body weakness, and diarrhea that escalates into dysentery, resulting in death. Dr. Oledo asserted that the disease is highly infectious because it spreads through body secretions like sweat, flue, vomits, saliva, urine, and touching surfaces.

Given the nature of the disease, it is suspected to have crossed with refugees camping in Kyangwale. He, therefore, encouraged people in the communities of Mubende, Mityana, Fortpotal, Kyangwale,, and Hoima to be on high alert.

“If we are not very careful as a nation, we might end up in lockdown, and that comes with restrictions in movement. Therefore Ugandans should be very vigilant in case of any suspected cases because Mubende is next to Mityana and from Mityana is Kampala. We don’t want cases to cross to Mulago with its congestion and the rest. It could cause a catastrophe,” he warned.

He, therefore, advised people to cease movement to areas of Mubende, unless it is very urgent but also use alternative routes such as the Kasese route when going to Fort portal.

Dr. Oledo also called upon the Ministry of Health to provide the health workers with safety gear to protect themselves from catching the deadly disease as they attend to patients.

“Due to the nature of the disease, we do not need minimal PPEs but the whole set. We need gloves, face shields, gumboots, aprons so that the health workers are entirely protected from the disease because it spreads through all body secretions and it is highly contagious,” he said.

Additionally, the doctor mentioned that two of every ten patients admitted for Ebola survive, calling for more caution and protection of the doctors since at least one or two cases are usually confirmed among suspected cases.

Meanwhile, the ministry of health confirmed that their rapid response teams are on ground carrying out contact tracing. So far, the team has listed 58 contacts and is publicizing hand washing in the communities.

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