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EBOLA IN WEST AFRICA – NO SINGLE CASE REPORTED IN UGANDA

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN WESTERN AFRICA -
 UGANDA STILL SAFE

03/07/2014

HON. DR. RUHAKANA RUGUNDA
MINISTER OF HEALTH

                                    MINISTRY OF HEALTH
                                    P. O.  BOX 7272,
                                    KAMPALA - UGANDA

Over the past two months, the Public has been awash with media reports about the Ebola outbreak in the three West African countries   of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
According to the World Health Organisation, this is one of the most deadly Ebola outbreaks. As of June 30th, the disease had affected over 759 people of which 467 succumbed to the epidemic. Among the dead include a Uganda Doctor Dr. Muhumuza Mutooro.
The death of the Ugandan doctor has caused panic among Ugandans with a fear that the outbreak could spill over in the country.
The Ministry of Health therefore wishes to inform the public about the following.
1.    No single Case of Ebola has been reported in the country since the last outbreak in November 2012. The Ministry of Health and the National Taskforce on Epidemics is on alert to watch out on any Ebola cases/suspects throughout the country. Surveillance officers in all districts especially those along the borders have been put on alert to detect potential suspects or cases.
2.    There should be no panic among Ugandans as the Government is on the alert and has instituted all measures to detect any case.  
3.    The Ministry of Health has informed all border posts to intensify disease surveillance check points especially for people coming in from the affected countries. We are further preparing the necessary logistics to be distributed to border entry points, especially at Entebbe International Airport to register all cases with a previous history of being in any of the affected countries.
4.    The Ministry of Health is working closely with the international community and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to help fight the epidemic in western Africa.
5.    The Minister of Health in charge of General Duties has led a team of technical officers from the Ministry of Health to a meeting in Accra, Ghana to work out potential strategies of containing the epidemic. This technical input is likely to boost the Ebola fight due to Uganda’s expertise in fighting Viral Haemorrhagic fevers.
Precautions
•    The Public is advised to limit (if it is not very important) their travels to any of the affected countries until the situation is contained. However, there are no travel bans to the affected countries. In case of any travels, you are advised to observe the precautionary measures instituted by the respective countries.
•    Those with relatives leaving in the affected countries should keep on the alert in case their relatives return to the country during this period. This is because Ebola can be spread through direct physical contact with body fluids like saliva, blood, stool, vomit, urine and sweat from an infected person and soiled linen used by a patient.
The public is further reminded that Ebola is a highly infectious disease, which presents with high grade fever and bleeding tendencies. It is very infectious, kills in a short time but can easily be prevented. The signs and symptoms of the disease include
•    fever,
•    vomiting,
•    diarrhoea,
•    abdominal pain,
•    headache,
•    measles-like rash,
•    red eyes, and sometimes with bleeding from body openings.  
The Ministry of Health once again calls upon the public to stay calm because all measures are being undertaken to prevent possible outbreaks.  

The country will be kept informed further on the outcome of the health emergency.

For further information contact PRO/MOH