First Ebola Case Confirmed In Uganda, Prompting Rapid Response

KAMPALA, Uganda, June 12 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Uganda announced, Tuesday night, that, Ebola had broken out in the western district of Kasese, with the index case being a five-year-old boy, back from his recent visit to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Jane Ruth Aceng, Ugandan health minister, told reporters that, a rapid response team, comprising members from the Ministry of Health, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control is in Kasese, to beef up efforts by medical teams already in the area.

Aceng said, the team will continue with various activities, including contact-tracing and case management.

According to the ministry of health, the boy returned to Uganda on June 10, with his mother, who had gone to the DRC to nurse her father, who had succumbed to Ebola.

When the child sought medical care, he was transferred to Uganda’s Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for management.

“The child is under care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit, and contacts are being monitored,” WHO said, in a separate statement issued in the capital, Kampala.

Aceng said, starting June 14, contacts to the index case and other non-vaccinated front-line health workers, would be vaccinated against the disease.

“The ministry would like to assure the public that the vaccine that will be given is very safe and effective. Contacts and front-line workers should willingly take the vaccine for their own and family protection,” she said.

She said, the country’s preparedness has been switched to a response mode, urging the public to cooperate with officials, to prevent further spread of Ebola to other parts of the country.

“With the experience and expertise available in the country and the over 10 months of preparedness, the disease will be contained,” Aceng said. “We appeal to the public to remain calm and report any suspected cases to the nearest health facility.”

According to WHO, Uganda has previous experience in managing Ebola outbreaks. Ebola and Marburg virus last broke out in the east African country in 2012. Ebola left over 20 people dead, while Marburg killed at least nine people.

The country has been on high alert, since the deadly disease broke out in eastern DRC.– NNN-AGENCIES