Experts fear sporadic Ebola spread in Uganda …as contacts escape medical care

Health experts are warning that people who have had contact with Ebola patients and are evading medical care may escalate the spread of the highly contagious viral disease in the east African country.

Dr Henry Kyobe, incident commander with the Ministry of Health, in a tweet on Wednesday said these contacts eventually showup for medical attention when it is too late. 

“I commit on behalf of the Ministry of Health and government to treat you. What I can’t commit on is whether we shall save your life if you get to us late,” Dr Kyobe said. 

“We shall be using all means available to us to get these contacts identified, listed, quarantined and follow up as per our guidelines; but stringent coercive measures will be the last resort, should all other means fail,” he added. 

At a community meeting in Kassanda district, one of the most affected, Minister of Health,Dr Ruth Aceng, on Tuesday urged the public to always heed to the ministry’s guidelines.

“We talked to them about Ebola, the dangers of running away from teams and the advantages of going for treatment early,” Dr Aceng said.

Dr Aceng was leading a delegation to Mubende and Kassanda districts, which are currently under a 21-day lockdown, to assess the containment measures.

According to Diana Atwine, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, continuous community engagements in dispelling myths about Ebola was yielding results.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the outbreak has spread to seven districts, which include Bunyangabu, Kagadi, Kampala, Kassanda, Kyegegwa, Mubende and Wakiso.

The majority of new cases are epidemiologically linked to known cases.Of the cases reported in Kampala capital city, 13 were linked to a man who escaped from Kassanda district to Kampala from where he died.

Among the people he infected were his family members, including the wife and six children who attend three different schools in Kampala, as well as two healthcare workers who cared for him.

WHO Director General,Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on October 27 that the spread of Ebola in new areas including urban centres was a matter of concern. -Xinhua

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