A Ugandan doctor has succumbed to the Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Liberia, joining a growing list of hundreds of people who have fallen victim to an outbreak sweeping through parts of West Africa.
Dr Samuel Mutoro from Kasese District died in Monrovia, Liberia where he was the head surgeon at Redemption Hospital. His death has been confirmed by Dr Ekwaro Obuku of Joint Clinical Research Centre, Kampala.
“I am aware that Dr Muturo passed away in Liberia as a result of Ebola. He becomes the third Ugandan doctor to die from Ebola after Dr Matthew Lukwiya and Dr Jonah Kule,” Dr Obuku said. “I have heard that another doctor [Dr Jude Sekungu] has been hospitalised over the same disease in Liberia,” noted Dr Obuku.
Dr Lukwiya died at Lacor hospital in 2000 during the first outbreak of the disease in northern Uganda, while Dr Kule died in Mulago Hospital in 2007 where he had been transferred from Bundibugyo District during the second outbreak.
According to a Liberian online publication, FrontPageAfrica, Dr Mutoro contracted the Ebola virus while treating a nurse from the same hospital. After contracting the virus, he was allegedly confined at the John F. Kennedy Medical Centre in Sinkor, Monrovia for monitoring before he passed away.
A family member, Mr Enos Masereka, yesterday told the Daily Monitor that the doctor’s brother, the Rev Yohaida Mutoro, his sister, Ms Eva Bwambale, and his wife left yesterday for Liberia to attend a burial ceremony.
More than 400 people have been reported to have died of Ebola in West Africa since its outbreak in February.
Ms Rukia Nakamatte, the ministry of Health spokesperson, yesterday said she was aware of the outbreak but said Uganda did not offer any help to Liberia.
“We are verifying the facts of the matter surrounding the death of the doctor and the one who they say has been hospitalised. I do not know under what circumstances that doctor went to Liberia but it was not under representation from the country,” she said.