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Ebola outbreak: Kyegegwa district heightens survillance

Hand washing and screening facilities have been set up to curb Ebola spread.

Kyegegwa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kyegegwa district has heightened health surveillance following an outbreak of Ebola in the neighboring Mubende district.

The health ministry last week confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Mubende district after a sample taken from a 24-year-old man from Madudu sub-county came out positive for the Sudan strain of Ebola.

Ronald Mugabi, the Kyegegwa district surveillance officer said one of the three Ebola patients who was admitted at Mubende regional referral hospital was from Kyegegwa and died on Sunday.

Winnie Kasibayo, the Kyegegwa Deputy Resident District Commissioner and head of the District Ebola Task Force says that as part of the surveillance, they are restoring the isolation units at Kyegegwa hospital to accommodate suspected Ebola cases.

Kasibayo says that they have also instituted a rapid response team that will receive alerts from communities and follow-up contacts from confirmed and probable cases.

Dr. Tedson Kandole, the Kyegegwa District Health Officer also says that they are on high alert and carrying out door-to-door sensitization on prevention measures with the help of the Village Health Teams.

According to Dr. Kandole, since Kyegegwa is home to refugees in the Kyaka II Refugee Settlement Camp, the camp leadership and the district health team are training community health workers on identifying suspects and how to handle patients in case a positive case is identified.

Kandole says that they are encouraging people to take precautions like avoiding crowded places, avoiding body contact through hugging and shaking hands, and maintaining regular handwashing with water and soap.

Following the Ebola outbreak, Bugongo primary school in Kabarungi village closed after one of its pupils was admitted to Mubende regional referral hospital as a suspected Ebola case. Other schools that closed included New Life Joy School, Golden Preparatory, and Visionary Parents Primary School in Kigarama ward, Bugogo town council.

But Monica Karungi, the Kyegegwa RDC asked the schools to reopen and advised parents to send their children back to school as officials from the Ministry of Health observe the situation.

According to Kandole, by Tuesday the district had registered one Ebola case while 11 suspects are in isolation at Mubende Referral Hospital while more than 45 contacts are being monitored.

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