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Ebola outbreak: Uganda tightens health surveillance along Lake Albert shores

FILE PHOTO: Ebola screening

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is heightened health surveillance and security along Lake Albert shores in Bunyoro districts following the fresh outbreak of Ebola in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC.

Over the weekend, DRC reported three cases of the highly contagious fever in the eastern part of the country. Two of the three victims have since died while the third is battling the disease according to World Health Organization-WHO.

The deceased include a 26-year-old man in Beni in North Kivu province and 11-month-old girl. The third victim is a 7-year-old girl who is being treated for the virus. The fresh Ebola cases have prompted Hoima, Buliisa, Kikuube and Kagadi districts in Uganda which share porous border points with DRC to heighten health surveillance and security to stop Congolese nationals from crossing into their territory without being screened.

Dr. Fredrick Byenume, the Hoima district health inspector says they have reinstated all Ebola response and surveillance teams on all landing sites to screen all people coming from DRC for Ebola and the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Nelson Naisye, the Buliisa district health officer says they are conducting screening and testing for Ebola and Coronavirus at the border. He says although the work has become hectic, they have nothing to do but to keep Ugandans safe from contracting the deadly viruses.

Samuel Kisembo, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner-RDC who also takes Kikuube district says they have tightened security along the Uganda-DRC border in both districts to control cross border movements and further influx of Congolese nationals into the country.

Dr. James Olwo, the Kagadi district health officer equally told URN that the district has deployed a team of health officers on all landing sites to do surveillance and screen Congolese Nationals entering the district.

However, Dr. Nicholas Kwikiriza, the Kikuube district health officer says they have a challenge of stopping nationals Congolese who are still sneaking into the district through the porous borders.

He called on residents to be vigilant and report to health and security authorities any suspicious persons in their area for quick action.



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