The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday released a report indicating that continued disregard of Standard of Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the youth in Uganda has escalated the spread of Ebola.
This follows hikes in the number of deaths linked to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Uganda from 46 to 48 persons, according to the Health Ministry.
The Ministry says that ebola has found a safe haven in Uganda’s youth, ranging from 20 to 35 years, who have strengthened their ressolve to oppose anti-ebola guidelines by the Health Ministry.
These youth are also reported to have swore by the brightest star in the sky to disregard the lockdown declared by President Yoweri Museveni in Mubende and Kassanda districts on October 15th.
According to the report, suspected and confirmed cases have been confirmed in eight district including Masaka, where the first case was recently detected. Masaka joins others like Mubende, Kagadi, Kyegegwa, Kassanda, Bunyangabu, Wakiso which have also been hit by this deadly disease.
The report also indicate that the number of those who have recovered from ebola has hit 54, while those discharged from hospitals have also hit a record high, with more than 1,650 contacts being followed up in nine districts. Relatedly, 17 health workers have been infected, 6 of whom died.
Since its influx in Uganda on September 20th, a total of 131 people have tested positive for ebola, with 2,187 people in quarantine for screening, in a period of days.
Responding to such scary developments, the Ministry of Education and Sports on October 28th suspended visits in all schools until December 2022, after 6 pupils tested positive from 3 schools in Kampala.
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health said the youth will come to their senses and take serious caution on ebola after witnessing its impacts, and that this will help defuse its spread.
“I want to encourage parents not to shun schools, they should allow their children to go to school and complete the term, effort is being put in place so that we have infection prevention and control materials for them to use, temperature should be taken on a daily basis, the children should be encouraged to wash hands at all times and the lavatories should be disinfected,” said Dr. Aceng.
However, health experts blame the rapid spread of ebola epidemic to the slow and inept response by the government, allowing the epidemic to spread faster to other districts.
These health professionals warn that logistical failures exhibited by the Ministry of Health and delays in implementation of stringent restrictions will likely plunge the country into disaster.
For instance, Herbert Luswata, the secretary general of Uganda Medical Association said strict lockdowns in societies where cases were first reported and tight seveillence should have been a strategy undertaken by government righ from the start.
“With an earlier lockdown, we would not have been having cases of patients and suspected cases escaping. You need to use the army when you are managing this pandemic,” Luswata said.
The first case of ebola in Uganda, the Sudan strain was detected in Mubende district when a 24 year old man identified during an investigation of six suspicious deaths was found to have succumbed to the epidemic as per laboratory tests on his samples.
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