Health Minister, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng

The Ministry of Health in a press release, says there no Ebola outbreak in Mbarara as some sections of the local media are reporting, even though a suspected case in the area is under observation by experts.

“Some sections of the media are awash with rumors of ‘Ebola in Mbarara District.’ The Ministry of Health would like to clarify that there is NO confirmed case of Ebola in Mbarara District. The Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital does not have any patient admitted in the ETU at the moment,” the ministry said on Monday.

It added that as of today (Monday, Uganda has not registered any new confirmed Ebola case in Kasese District or any other part of Uganda since the last registered case four days ago. There are 2 new suspect cases who are under isolation at Bwera ETU. Blood samples were withdrawn from the suspect cases and sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for testing and results are pending.

“Currently, 92 contacts to the confirmed Ebola cases in Kagando and Bwera are being followed up daily. Ring vaccination of contacts of the confirmed Ebola cases, as well as non-vaccinated frontline health and other workers, commenced on Saturday 15th June 2019. As of Monday 17th June, a total of 128 contacts and non-vaccinated Frontline and health have been vaccinated,” it said.

The ministry said there are three confirmed cases of Ebola who include; 5 year index case from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), his 50 year old grandmother both who passed on at Bwera ETU and the 3 year old boy, brother to the index case who tested positive for Ebola and was under isolation at Bwera ETU passed on in DRC.

On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held bilateral talks with President Yoweri Museveni on potential interventions to end the Ebola outbreak both in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in Kasese District.

Dr. Tedros arrived in Uganda after visiting Butembo and Katwa- areas affected by the outbreak in North Kivu province in Eastern DRC. During his brief to President Museveni about the situation in Eastern DRC, Dr Tedros reiterated WHO’s ongoing support to the Government of Uganda to control the Ebola outbreak. “I am pledging our continued support, in order to control this outbreak as soon as possible” he said.

Dr Tedros praised the steps Uganda had taken to prepare for a potential outbreak. “We must invest in preparedness—this is the smartest investment we can make,” he stated. He expressed his confidence in Uganda’s strong and sustainable resilient systems to respond to the current Ebola outbreak in Kasese, western Uganda.

Museveni appreciated the response by the Ugandan health workers in their efforts in containing the outbreak and encouraged them to continue the good work they are doing. President Museveni also committed to support the efforts of WHO in the DRC and also reach out to the leaders in DRC.