Ebola screening points set ablaze in Kasese

An official at one of the screening tents that failed to catch fire, shows the bottle of paraffin that was used to burn the rest of the tents. Photo by Enid Ninsiima

Village health teams in Kasese are living in fear after tents at two Ebola screening points were set ablaze.

The incident happened on Wednesday at Maliba-Abiri and Masango, which are major entry points from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sylvester Baghene, a member of the Village Health Team working at Maliba-Abiri says a 19-year-old boy from DRC was screened with high temperatures and immediately rushed to Bwera Hospital.

Unfortunately his relatives reacted angrily, attacking teams at the screening points, claiming the diagnosis was wrong diagnosis.

Mr. Milton Lusenge, another team member revealed that people from across the border have vowed to put down all the screening tents erected on the Ugandan side.

“We were told, that we (Ugandans) are the ones spreading Ebola to DR Congo due to the screening points established and that if not removed, they will all be burnt,” Lusenge said.

Workers and residents at the two screening points are worried that if government fails to deploy security adequately at those points a lot of danger would be experienced.

“We call on government to deploy soldiers, because our lives ae in danger. Otherwise we are ready to continue with the screening,” he added.

On June 11, the Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed an Ebola outbreak in Uganda. Over 10 screening points were established at the border in order of Uganda and Congo in Kasese district.

When contacted, Kasese Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Mr. Joshua Masereka described the incident as unfortunate and called for calmness on the residents as security does its work.

“We are aware that the tents were burnt because there was an Ebola suspect who was taken to Bwera for further screening but security can’t be everywhere, so I call upon residents to be vigilant especially at night. We, the security are going to intensify our vigilance and surveillance on those who cross into our territory if that is the case” Masereka said.