Mubende & Kassanda Districts Placed Under Lockdown.

By Our Reporter

KAMPALA:

President Museveni has imposed a 21-day lockdown on the districts of Mubende and Kassanda to contain the spread of Ebola that has already claimed 55 lives in the country.

The president announced the impossure of a 21-day lock on the districts of Mubende and Kassanda during his 4th address to the nation on the Ebola virus disease outbreak on Tuesday at 8:00 Pm.

Museveni last addressed the nation on 15th October 2022 when he issued restrictions on movements into and out of Mubende and Kasanda Districts, the areas where Ebola outbreak started.

Museveni said that before he imposed restrictions on Mubende District whose objective was to control transmission out of the epicenter and specifically into Kampala City and consolidate efforts to contain the outbreak, on average, up to five cases of Ebola were confirmed on 3 a daily basis.

He however noted that in the first 21 days of restrictions, the ministry of health learnt that the number of cases reduced to an average of 3 cases per day as a result of intensifying control interventions which included; door to door sensitization of the communities by the Village Health Teams, training of the health workers on Infection Prevention Control in both public and private health facilities, safe dignified burials of all deceased in the communities and hospitals and early treatment of cases at the Ebola Treatment Units.

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He narrated that whereas he later allowed boda boda to carry cargo to support families in the district, they have abused this permission and are carrying out a passenger relay system to transport people instead of cargo a thing he said that it poses a risk of transfer of infection to other districts.

“With the help of boda bodas, people are escaping through Kyaka II refugee camp 4 and end up in facilities in Kampala City and other districts. Recently, a pregnant woman travelled through Kyaka II and ended up in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital where she was delivered by Cesarean Section and is still under quarantine”. He Said.

The president added “Furthermore, another woman was transported through the same mechanism up to Kireka on the outskirts of Kampala City with the pretext of going to pick her HIV medicines which are widely available everywhere. This is not acceptable because Ebola infection will be exported out of the district. Any urgent health issues must be communicated to the health authorities to handle within the district”.

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He also explained the slow progress in Kasanda district due to lack of cooperation among some district political leaders, poor adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), myths and misconceptions, and visiting traditional healers.

He cited out passenger relay system by boda-boda’s similar to what is happening in Mubende, Frequent visits to traditional healers, Myths, misconceptions and misinformation and Escape of Ebola contacts using the trucks carrying timber logs which also exposes the driver and turn boy to infection as four major challenges that are as of result of slow progress in Kasanda District.

He said that trucks spend nearly one week in Kasanda loading the logs which is adequate time for the driver and turn boy to have contact with the communities and get infected giving an example on how a driver of a timber truck left Kasanda with infection and was found in Busega in Kampala City.

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As a result of the above highlighted risks in Mubende and Kasanda district, Museveni directed Ministry of Health and Local Government leaders to intensify sensitization of the boda boda’s so that they understand the dangers of exporting Ebola through the refugee camp, all traditional healers and witch Doctors with immediate effect to stop carrying out their activities during this Ebola outbreak

He also directed all boda boda (MUST) stop the practice of passenger relay system immediately, all trucks carrying logs to stop moving into and out of Mubende and Kasanda districts with immediate effect until the end of the 21 days.

As of Tuesday 15 November 2022, 141 confirmed cases of Ebola were registered with 55 deaths, 73 recoveries and 13 patients were currently admitted at the Ebola Treatment Units(ETUs).

 

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