President Museveni has ruled out the possibility of closing social places or introducing restrictions on movements of people over the Ebola outbreak.
I want to reassure Ugandans and all Residents that the Government has the capacity to control this outbreak as we have done before,” said Museveni on Wednesday night.
“Therefore, there is no need for anxiety, panic, restriction of movements or unnecessary closure of public places like schools, markets, places of worship etc. as of now,” he added.
The President’s remarks are a huge relief for many Ugandans who had feared the closure of social places amid the Ebola outbreak. “Our healthcare workers will do all it takes to save lives and bring the situation under control.
I call upon the public to cooperate with the healthcare workers and report anybody with signs and symptoms similar to that of Ebola,” he emphasized.
The outbreak comes at a time the country is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic that left thousands dead and the economy debilitated. As of 27th September 2022, there were 24 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and five deaths from the districts of Mubende, Kyegegwa and Kassanda. This was the first Ebola disease outbreak caused by Sudan virus (SUDV) in Uganda since 2012.
“The current transmission in Madudu sub-county in Mubende District and in other districts appears to be driven by exposure at burials and family interactions following the death of people suspected to have succumbed to Ebola,” said Museveni. Sudan virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans. Sudan virus was first reported in southern Sudan in June 1976, since then the virus has emerged periodically and up to now, seven outbreaks caused by SUDV have been reported, four in Uganda and three in Sudan.
The virus is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats, chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope or porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.
The virus then spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with either blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from SVD or objects that have been contaminated with body fluids (like blood, faeces, vomit) from a person sick with SVD or the body of a person who died from SVD.
The incubation period ranges from 2 to 21 days. People infected with Sudan virus cannot spread the disease until they develop symptoms, and they remain infectious as long as their blood contains the virus.
Symptoms of can be sudden and include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, and sore throat later followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function. In some cases, the patient might present both internal and external bleeding (for example, bleeding from the gums, or blood in the stools). Interventions President Museveni said a Rapid Response Team was immediately deployed in the Greater Mubende region to carry out an immediate assessment
Based on information from this team, the Ministry of Health has classified the country into three risk zones: Category 1 – (Very High risk)- Mubende, Kyegegwa and Kassanda Districts Category 2 – (High risk) –
The districts bordering Category 1 districts namely; Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Kiboga, Mityana, Kibale, Kazo, Gomba, Sembabule, and Kyenjojo Districts. Kampala and Wakiso are also included in this category because of ease of movement and trade.
Category 3 – (Moderate risk) – Rest of the country 2. Experts that previously handled Ebola outbreaks in Gulu, Bundibugyo, Kibaale and Luwero have been deployed to Mubende, Kassanda and Kyegegwa districts to manage patients and control the spread of the outbreak.
Museveni said the Ebola Treatment Unit at Mubende Regional Referral hospital is currently at 51 bed capacity for confirmed cases and 80 beds for suspect cases. “Since most of the Ebola cases are coming from Madudu sub county which is the epicenter, the Government has decided to set up an additional Ebola Treatment Unit of 30 beds at Madudu Health Centre III.
This is to avoid the 30km distance of transferring patients to Mubende Regional Referral Hospital and to improve early patient care and management,” said Museveni. “To facilitate this, the Government will immediately connect Madudu subcounty to the National Electricity grid to provide power to the sub county and the health center.
Furthermore, a solar powered borehole will be sunk at Madudu Health Center III to provide running water,” he added. By Friday 30th September, 2022, two mobile diagnostic laboratories will be deployed in Mubende District.