The Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has iurged residents in Kyegegwa district to desist from mixing Ebola with witchcraft.
The Minister was on Friday visiting the district to assess the situation of surveillance since the outbreak of the disease and to find out how the district is prepared to respond to the situation.
Dr Acengminister is visiting the four districts where the disease has been confirmed and these are Mubende where the first case was confirmed, Kyegegwa(3 confirmed cases) Kassanda (1 confirmed case) and kKagadi (1 confirmed case).
As of Friday minister Acheng said the country had 35 confirmed cases, 7 deaths including one in Kagadi. She said that she has realized that residents in Kyegegwa have misunderstood Ebola to be witchcraft-related.
Acheng said that when some of the people identify signs and symptoms of Ebola, like high fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea they quickly take it to be witchcraft which she says in very dangerous puts the population at risk of spreading the disease.
The minister’s remarks stem from the District Health Officers report on a deceased probable case of an 8-year-old girl who died before the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Mubende. According to residents of Bugogo Town Council where the girl was, when she presented with signs vomiting, bloody diarrhea, fever and headache, family members thought that it was witchcraft, and instead of taking her to a health facility, the girl was rushed to traditional healer for ‘management’. On 11th September, the girl passed on.
The minister has thus urged the district leaders and members of the district task force to sensitize and educate the public about the signs and symptoms of Ebola and preventive measures in order to contain the spread of the disease because sometimes the population can be ignorant about Ebola.
Dr Acheng advised the population to observe SOPS like avoiding physical contact and regular handwashing with water and soap.
Meanwhile the minister warned health workers and government officials against commercializing epidemics by requesting for allowances instead of handling the situation.
She said that in such situations, its crucial to first save lives first than asking for money.
The leaders of Kyegegwa retaliated the nford of an ambulance to help in the response towards the management of the outbreak and the minister promised them that the district will receive it soon but requested that in the meantime they can be using other vehicles like the one that was given for Covid-19 surveillance and the immunization double cabin to carry out surveillance and sensitization work.