Saturday January 13 2018

Shock as 9-year-old dies of strange disease in Nakaseke

The Permanent Secretary MOH Dr Diana Atwine.

The Permanent Secretary MOH Dr Diana Atwine. She said blood samples from the child’s body were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute to verify and report back on the case. File photo 

By DAN WANDERA

NAKASEKE.

Fresh fears of an attack by a strange disease with signs similar to the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever are fast spreading in Nakaseke District after a 9-year old girl collapsed and died at Butalangu village just about 1km from the District headquarters on Thursday evening.

A rapid response health team from Nakaseke Hospital was later dispatched at the scene with full body protective gear and a body bag to collect the body at Butalangu village. The Health teams disinfected the home and promised to get back to the family members regarding the burial arrangements.

“We are stranded on what to do because the health teams took away the body to Nakaseke hospital mortuary. We are waiting for a communication regarding the burial arrangements as they promised,” Ms Harriet Nalunkuma told the Daily Monitor in a telephone interview on Friday.

Nakaseke District Health Officer Dr Badru Ssesimba confirmed to Journalists that blood samples from the deceased body had been handed over to the Uganda Virus Research Institute but refused to give details on what happened.

The Daily Monitor has learned from authorities at Nakaseke Hospital who did not want to have their respective identities made public for fear of a reprisal from higher authorities that the deceased will be buried at Lusanja village in Luweero District by health teams on Friday as they await results from the UVRI. ‘’

The body will be buried at Lusanja village by health teams. You know the sensitivity of health issues now. You can talk to the Ministry of Health for details because they should now be aware of this latest case,” A Health official at Nakaseke hospital claimed.

His message was echoed by Nakaseke District LC5 Chairperson Mr Ignatius Kiwanuka Koomu who said that the information he has is that the body will be buried by health teams at Lusanja village in Luweero District on Friday.

"You know what happened the other day when we came out to express our discontent of the handling of health related issues in Nakaseke District. Let us wait for their communication. It could possibly be a different disease which must also be known to the public," Koomu told the Daily Monitor on Friday.

Last week, the Ministry of Health denied claims by Nakaseke District officials that the deadly Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever had broken out in Nakaseke. The PS, MOH Dr Diana Atwine said the claims made the politicians in Nakaseke were baseless because the officials have no mandate to announce an outbreak of an epidemic. She clarified that the UVRI had not issued any positive results for the CCHF.

The Permanent Secretary MOH Dr Diana Atwine in a telephone interview with the Daily Monitor on Friday confirmed that fluid and blood samples from the body of a child who died in Nakaseke on Thursday were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute to verify and report back on the case.

“Am on leave but the information I have is that the blood samples were taken to the UVRI where we expect to get the results anytime. It is not good to rush into conclusions before we get the results,” Dr Asiimwe said before referring the Daily Monitor to the Acting Director at UVRI , Dr Mwebesa who did not respond to the phone calls by press time.

On Wednesday the MP representing Nakaseke South Constituency Paul Lutamaguzi raised before the floor of Parliament, concerns of the alleged concealment of a Health problem in Nakaseke District by the MOH.

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