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Kasese public places embrace hand washing to prevent Ebola

FILE PHOTO: Hand washing is one of the ways to prevent Ebola spread.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A number of public places in Kasese district have embraced hand washing as one of the ways to prevent the spread of Ebola following an outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC in August last year. Three people tested positive for Ebola Virus in Kasese district this week.

Three western Ugandan districts including Bundibugyo, Kanungu and Kasese neighboring DRC and Arua West Nile have been struggling to contain the viral disease. Following the confirmed cases in Kasese district, several offices have intensified hand washing before accessing their premises.

Washing hands with water mixed with chlorine is one of the ways to prevent viral diseases. It’s recommended in the fight against Ebola. Vienna Hotel located in Kabuyiri ward of Mpondwe-Lhubiriha border town is one of those places where there are explicit instructions for all guests to wash their hands before entry.

The instructions are written in English, Kiswahili and Lhukonzo. There’s also a security officer manning the place to ensure all guests wash their hands before entering the hotel. Nuria Masika, an Assistant Manager at the hotel says as a facility which receives several people daily, it’s only ideal that they implement strong precautionary measures.

Masika says the facility receives about 150 people each day for different activities making it vulnerable. She added that much as the hotel hadn’t embraced hand washing before, the two people who succumbed to Ebola in Kasese this week have taught them to be on the high alert all the time since some of their customers hail from DRC.

At Mpondwe primary school, Paddy Pambara, the head teacher, says they have had to close two other entry points into the school such that all people into the school use one route and wash their hands first. According to Pambara, the school has 42 Congolese pupils who are refugees.

This, he says, is the reason they have to ensure that they do everything within their means to prevent the spread of the viral disease to the 1372 pupils at the education facility. Many other public places and offices in Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Town Council have adopted hand washing.

Many other offices in Kasese town, which is about 60 kms away from Mpondwe- Lhubiriha town council, have also picked the practice. Messiah Radio that is also enforcing hand washing by all her staff and customers before accessing their premises.

Rev, Solomon Badaaki, the station manager, says as a media organisation charged with educating the masses, they ought to act as an example to the audience by not only educating them but also demonstrating the need to fight the monstrous viral disease.

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