One person has tested positive for Ebola in Manyi Sub County, Mityana District. Mityana is in central Uganda and neighbouring Mubende where the first case was registered.
Kapchorwa District in western Uganda is also hunting for an Ebola patient who escaped from Mubende hospital. The resident of Kapchorwa district was an attendant to a patient who succumbed to Ebola in Mubende Hospital recently. He has since disappeared but suspected to have fled back to his home district.
The female patient fell sick hardly a week after the death of her mother inside a shrine, who was later buried at Madudu in Mubende District. The patient’s child also died at Manyi Health Center which raised suspicion among the community members.
Dennis Mono, the District Surveillance and the Ebola focal person confirmed the Ebola case. He said that the patient was evacuated from Mityana hospital on Monday and taken to Mubende Hospital. The health workers who attended to the patient and her child have been isolated.
Mono says that the district team with other health officials has embarked on tracing the patient’s contacts to curb the spread of the virus.
The Resident District Commissioner Mityana, Afrikano Aharikundira says that they have activated all the task force teams from the village to the district level as well as Village Health Teams – VHTs.
On Saturday, President Museveni announced 21 days of lockdown in Mubende and Kassanda districts restricting movements in and out, as a measure to mitigate the spread Ebola virus disease. Museveni directed that public transport, private transport, and Boda-bodas are not permitted to move in Mubende and Kassanda districts.
The restrictions also affected seasonal markets, worship places, and social places like bars and gyms while all burials shall be conducted by the safe burial teams.
By 19th October the Ministry of health had reported 64 confirmed cases of Ebola , 14 people had recovered, and 39 deaths.
Health and security officials in Kapchorwa District are hunting for an Ebola patient who escaped from Mubende hospital.
Dr. Siraji Masai, the Kapchorwa District Health Officer, says that the male patient aged 50 escaped from the hospital after his samples were collected on Tuesday, October 18. He says that on Wednesday, the samples from the Uganda Virus Research Institute tested positive for Ebola.
According to Siraji, information from the Ministry of Health indicates that the suspect, a resident of Kapchorwa district was an attendant to a patient who succumbed to Ebola in Mubende Hospital recently.
He says the district health office has tasked different stakeholders to join in the search for the patient. “I received a mail from the Ministry of health, instructing the district to be on alert and search for the suspect,” Masai said.
Sirsaji says that all the Village Health Teams (VHTs), sub-county chairpersons, and the security forces have been put on alert.
Enos Lottem, the Resident District Commissioner Kapchorwa, says they have asked the neighboring districts in the Sebei sub-region to join hands in search of the suspect. Hassan Tuti, the Administrator of Kapchorwa Hospital says, the facility is on alert and ready to handle such emergencies.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng has revealed plans to recruit 1,490 staff to help in response to the Ebola outbreak in the Country. The new staff will include epidemiologists, physicians, pediatricians, laboratory technologists, health inspectors, psychosocial staff, hygienists, and others.
Last month, the Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Mubende District. Aceng was speaking on Thursday in the company of diplomats from the United States, Ireland, British, and Netherlands who were touring Mulago and Entebbe Hospitals.
Dr. Aceng said that says that the Uganda Virus Research Institute is currently training 20 lab technicians that shall also help in the response to the Ebola Outbreak.
According to the Minister, there are currently 64 confirmed Ebola cases including four children with the eldest 11 years. 24 people have died from Ebola and 24 were discharged.
Aceng says that as part of preparations for any eventualities, they shall set up another isolation center in Mulago at the playground. The unit will comprise four big tents, three for suspects and one for confirmed cases.
According to the lead Physician at the Mulago isolation unit Dr. Tonny Musoke Sekitoleko, the isolation center currently hosts 60 people including eight suspects, and 52 high-risk contact cases under quarantine.
Dr. Sekitoleko says that when any case is confirmed from the people at Mulago, they shall be taken to Entebbe Hospital for quality indoor management. At the facility, there are six doctors, 14 nurses, and two technical lab attendants among other staff.
Aceng said that the isolation facility at Mulago hospital has only a capacity to accommodate 120 people, which is low compared to the need that could emerge if the virus was confirmed in Kampala.
On Saturday, the President directed the Ministry of Health to mobilize Kampala into a full response mode.
Dr. Aceng also says that the Ministry received two mobile laboratories from the Center for Diseases Control on top of the two others provides by the government in Adjumani and Elegu districts ready for deployment in case of any need.
Dr Aceng also added that as part of their response strategy, they have 130 Village Health Teams (VHTs) to carry out sensitization and identify suspects and contacts in communities including Kampala.
The United Nations Children’s Fund -UNICEF Country Representative Dr. Mohamed El-Munir Safieldin says that they have also tailored their support to Uganda in conducting community sensitization and risk communication regarding Ebola. He says that out of the 12 million USD they plan to use in this response, they have already mobilized over five million USD part of which has been used by the government to fund media campaigns on 12 radio stations and three Television stations.
Dr. Safieldin says that in their next step, they shall target the mobilization of Community health workers to send out messages on Ebola spread and prevention.
Ebola spreads through exposure to an infected person’s fluids including blood and sweat. Its victims present with symptoms such as diarrhea, unexpected fever, fatigue, and bleeding from the different openings of the body.