The Uganda Medical Association –UMA has called doctors and medical interns working at Mubende regional referral hospital and others who are working in red spot areas not to abandon the facilities for fear of contracting Ebola.
Medical interns earlier on were pushing to be transferred from Mubende regional referral hospital following the outbreak of the disease in Mubende District.
UMA president Dr. Samuel Oledo says that some health workers are hesitant to attend to patients while some interns have been called by their parents to go back home.
Dr. Oledo said some of the interns may leave when they have been exposed to the disease which can cause more danger to their families and the communities where they live. He also said that some health workers have clinical symptoms and they are in hiding. He advised them to come out for tests and get treated if found positive.
Oledo also said the Ministry of Health should recruit more health workers in the Ebola fight so that the working hours of health workers attending to Ebola patients can reduce. He said that health workers are working two shifts – the day and the night- shift which can lead them to get exposed to Ebola due to fatigue.
Dr. Musa Lumumba the president of Medical Interns has said that in Mubende medical interns decried a lack of personal protective equipment which caused one of the health workers to die and one is currently in critical condition in Fort Portal regional referral hospital.
He also said that they have appealed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health Dr. Diana Atwine to give training to the medical interns, Senior House Officers (SHOs), and other health workers on Ebola infection, control, and prevention, and all be provided with enough PPEs at different layers.
However, in an earlier interview, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health said the claim that there’s no PPE is unfounded since other health workers are still in hospital and offering other services other than Ebola care.
The Ebola outbreak in Uganda was first detected last week in Mubende, in central region, but has since spread to other districts Kyegegwa, Kasanda, and Kagadi.
The Sudan strain which has broken up in Uganda is less common than the Zaire strain and has no current, effective vaccine. Uganda last reported a Sudan strain outbreak in 2012, and the last Ebola outbreak in 2019 was the Zaire strain.