The Uganda Ministry of Health has noted with concern reports of an Ebola outbreak in Mubende district making rounds across the different media platforms. “We would like to inform the public that there is no Ebola outbreak in Mubende or any other part of the country”,  State Minister of Health, the Honorable Sarah Opendi stated Saturday.

Uganda Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

What was quoted in the media is rather a case of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). It is worth noting that the CCHF outbreak in the districts of Luwero and Nakaseke, where the outbreak was declared on January 4th this year, and efforts to contain it are still ongoing. These share a boarder with Mubende district.

On the night of 21st May 2018, a 35-year-old male from Nkoko subcounty in Bugangaizi county, Kakumiro district presented at Melt Care Clinic with a high fever and vomiting and was admitted for two days.

Since he was not improving, the relatives transferred him to Galde medical clinic in Kakumiro district on 23rd May from where he was referred to Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

The clinician on duty at Mubende RRH immediately transferred the patient to the hospital isolation room where he received intravenous fluids.  Unfortunately, he died during that same night at around 1am. Samples were taken off the body and were sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

The attendants of the diseased who included his expectant wife and 4 others were immediately quarantined and they are closely being monitored.

The Government of Uganda is working towards the control of ticks which are the main agents in the transmission of CCHF from animals to humans.

uganda ebolaThe Ministry of Health continues to intensify its efforts to prevent any possible spread of the Ebola epidemic to Uganda, through the following:

  1. Screening of travelers at Entebbe International Airport; All travelers from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are being screened at the Health desk for Ebola signs and symptoms. The screening targets all passengers who have had a history of travel of not less than 21 days to the DRC.
  2. The passengers complete a screening form and an information leaflet about Ebola and contact numbers of surveillance are given to all non-symptomatic passengers. A private Medical Centre in the airport has been equipped to provide counselling and clinical screening of all suspects.  A standby ambulance with driver and relevant protective gear has been provided by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and is available twenty-four-seven.
  3. The Ministry of Health has instructed leaders in the districts of Kampala, Wakiso, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Hoima, Bulisa, Nebbi, Arua, Maracha, Koboko, Kibaale, Kabaale, Mubende, Luwero and Nakaseke to reactivate the District Task Forces in preparations for any possible outbreak. These taskforces are assigned to conduct a rapid risk assessment on importation of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases through their districts, review and update district EVD preparedness and response plans, and establish ground crossing requirements (temperature screening/verbal screening/hand washing/IEC materials) to limit the risk of EVD importation while avoiding unnecessary interference in trade and travel. They are also expected to ensure adequate community information and heightened surveillance by front line health workers in all health facilities.
  4. An Isolation facility has been set up at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital to attend to any suspected cases. The hospital staff have all been oriented on handling suspected VHF patients including Infection control and supportive care.