This Tuesday morning start our news roundup in Uganda, the BBC and local newspapers reported the country’s president Yoweri Museveni had urged people to avoid physical contact, after the deadly Ebola virus claimed one life in the capital, Kampala.
Fourteen people have now died since the outbreak began in western Uganda three weeks ago, he said in a broadcast.
Ebola, one of the most virulent diseases in the world, is spread by close personal contact and can kill up to 90% of those who become infected.
Mr Museveni said seven doctors and 13 health workers at Mulago hospital – the main referral hospital in Kampala – were in quarantine after “at least one or two cases” were taken there from Kibaale district, about 170km (100 miles) west of Kampala.
One victim – a health worker who had been transferred to the capital – later died.
Stephen Byaruhanga, health secretary of the affected Kibaale district, said possible cases of Ebola, at first concentrated in a single village, are now being reported in more villages.
“It’s no longer just one village. There are many villages affected,” Byaruhanga said.
Ebola, which manifests itself as a hemorrhagic fever, is highly infectious and kills quickly. It was first reported in 1976 in Congo and is named for the river where it was recognized. A CDC factsheet on Ebola says the disease is “characterised by fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, sore throat, and weakness, followed by diarrhoea, vomiting, and stomach pain. A rash, red eyes, hiccups and internal and external bleeding may be seen in some patients”.
Scientists don’t know the natural reservoir of the virus, but they suspect the first victim in an Ebola outbreak gets infected through contact with an infected animal.
In South Sudan, news24 reports that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit troubled South Sudan on an 11-day Africa trip starting this week aimed at spurring economic growth, peace and security, US officials said.
Clinton will first visit Senegal on Tuesday before travelling on to the world’s newest nation on a trip which will also take in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Clinton noted earlier that South Sudan had made strides in nation-building and on building a legal framework. Yet “despite the progress, significant challenges remain that threaten stability and prosperity”, she warned.
The United States is leading international warnings to Sudan and South Sudan to step up efforts to reach a peace deal this week or face possible UN sanctions.
In Uganda she will meet with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni “to encourage strengthening of democratic institutions and human rights”.
Talks will also focus on Somalia and efforts to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army.
In Kenya, she will meet with top officials, and “to underscore US support for completing the political transition in Somalia by August 20, Secretary Clinton will also meet with President Sheikh Sharif [Ahmed]“.
After visiting Malawi, Clinton will then travel to South Africa accompanied by an American business delegation “to participate in the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue focusing on the partnership between our two countries”.
In Kenya, the Daily Nation reports that the Court of Appeal is expected to issue a ruling on the date Kenyans will go to the polls.
Appellate judges Erastus Githinji, Kalpana Rawal, Martha Koome, Hannah Okwengu and David Maranga will either uphold a decision reached by the High Court in January concerning the election date or dismiss the ruling and set a new one.
Judges Isaac Lenaola, David Majanja and Mumbi Ngugi ruled that the elections will be held in March, 2013 after the expiry of the current Parliament’s term unless the President and the Prime Minister agree in writing to dissolve the Coalition Government.
Following the decision and the failure by the two principals to indicate whether they will dissolve the government, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) went ahead to fix the election date on March 4, 2013.
The decision of the Appeal Court is likely to shape preparations for the next election both in the political field and logistics for the electoral body.
In Namibia, CNN reports that a judge ruled Monday that three HIV-positive women in Namibia were sterilized without their informed consent, their lawyer said.
But the high court judge said the women did not provide enough evidence to prove that they were sterilized because they were HIV-positive, according to attorney Amon Ngavetene.
The judge has not yet decided on awarding damages in the case, said Ngavetene, coordinator of the AIDS Law Unit at the Legal Assistance Centre. The women were seeking 1.2 million Namibian dollars (about $150,000) in compensation.
The center is representing 18 women, alleging that public hospitals sterilized them without their informed consent.
Namibian authorities have denied accusations that forced sterilizations have been a matter of government policy.
Emilia Handumbo, one of the HIV-positive women suing the government, told CNN last year that she was given documents to sign while she was in labor and about to give birth in a public hospital.
“I thought they were papers for the caesarian, but then the nurse said to me, ‘I think they are going to close you,’” she said.
Human rights groups say that the high profile nature of Monday’s case has done little to change the conduct of some health care workers in Namibia, alleging that more HIV-positive women who claim they were forcibly sterilized are still coming forward.
A study from the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS and the Namibia Women’s Health Network unearthed 40 cases in three of the country’s regions.
AIDS activist Jenny Gatsi-Mallet, who helped conduct the research, said doctors working for the state have told her they were just following guidelines.