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MINISTRY OF HEALTH TAKES PREVENTIVE MEASURES ON EBOLA SPREAD

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

EBOLA OUTBREAK IN WEST AFRICA – UGANDA TAKES ACTION

31/07/2014

HON. RUHAKANA RUGUNDA
MINISTER OF HEALTH

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

Three countries of West Africa, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra leon   have for the last four months been devastated by an outbreak of Ebola epidemic. As of July 27th, there were 1,323 registered cases including 729 deaths.  
The epidemic has since spilled over to Nigeria and we have just received information of a new unconfirmed case in Nairobi, Kenya. This outbreak affected Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia hence the escalating cases and the transmission by international travellers. This has caused panic among Ugandans with a fear that Ebola could spread to Uganda.
The Government of Uganda therefore wishes to clarify on the following;
There is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda. Media reports of reported case in Kitgum and Kampala districts are false. Any reported case will be investigated promptly and the public will; be informed.  
I wish to reaffirm that no case has been reported in the country since the outbreak was declared in West Africa. Our National Taskforce on Epidemics and Disease Surveillance is on alert to watch out on any Ebola alerts throughout the county.
The Ministry of Health will regularly update the country on the outbreak.
Since July, 2014, the Ministry of Health has undertaken the following measures to prevent the spread of Ebola in Uganda.  
1.    We have heightened surveillance in all districts. All districts have been directed to be vigilant and look out for suspected cases and alerts for immediate action. Additionally, all districts with border posts have been asked to intensify disease surveillance especially for people with a travel history to the affected countries.
2.    We have intensified screening at Entebbe International Airport. We have set up a health desk to conduct this screening. The exercise targets all people with recent travel of 21 days in any affected countries.  The isolation unit at Entebbe and the airport medical centre have been equipped.
3.    We have adequate medical and health supplies in all Regional Referral Hospitals  
4.    The National Medical Stores (NMS) has stocked the necessary medical and health supplies ready for dispatch to any affected region.
5.    A team of experts has already been dispatched to Buvuma Island to ascertain the entry points and give guidance on Ebola control measures
6.    The Ministry of Health has assembled a team of experts to be on standby to be deployed in areas where suspected cases are reported.
Precautions
•    The Public is advised to limit their travels to any of the affected countries until the situation is contained. The Ministry of Health clarifies that there is no travel bans to the affected countries. In case of any travels, the public is advised to observe the precautionary measures instituted by the respective countries.
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 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.  
Ebola can be spread through contact with affected persons and by using instruments and objects that have been used by an infected person. Likewise, a person can get it by touching a dead body of a person who has died of the disease.  
The Ministry of Health once again calls upon the public to be vigilant and stay calm as all possible measures are being taken to keep the country safe from the epidemic.  
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
HON. DR. RUHAKANA RUGUNDA