Ebola lockdown strains hospitals, schools

Teachers  wait for movement permits at the  office of the Mubende Resident District Commissioner on October 19, 2022. PHOTO/DAN WANDERA

What you need to know:

  • Last Saturday, President Museveni suspended private and public transport, including boda bodas, in the two districts after the disease claimed 19 lives.

A section of health workers and teachers in Mubende and Kassanda districts are struggling to access their respective workplaces following a 21-day lockdown instituted to contain the Ebola outbreak. 
Last Saturday, President Museveni suspended private and public transport, including boda bodas, in the two districts after the disease claimed 19 lives.
Since Monday, several teachers and health workers have queued at the office of the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, seeking movement permits to use their motorcycles and vehicles in vain. 
The only successful people have been head teachers and examination invigilators, who were issued temporary movement permits.

Mr Pafuladito Kyeyune, the head teacher of Focus Primary School, at Makenke Cell, West Division, in Mubende Municipality told the Daily Monitor yesterday that some of his teachers are yet to report back to school following the lockdown.
“I have three teachers who are still stranded at their homes. One has to walk a distance of more than 9km. She has been using boda bodas, which were barred from transporting passengers. Other two female teachers stay about 7kms away from the school,” he said.
Mr Chris Muzira, the head teacher of Kasenyi Secondary School in West Division, Mubende Municipality, said teachers residing outside the school premises were stuck too.  
 “This is the third term and we are preparing students for promotional exams. When teachers fail to report to school, students are more affected. We appeal to the President to relax the guidelines and allow boda bodas to transport people,” he appealed.

Mr Emma Kisakye, the head teacher of Kabowa Nursery and Primary in Kibalinga Sub-county, Mubende District, said he was given a one-day permit to use his motorcycle to purchase all the school requirements yet he has to run other school errands.
“Schools must be allowed to operate smoothly under the current lockdown,” he said.
But the Mubende District Resident District Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Byabasaija, insists that the presidential guidelines must be adhered to.
 “Since Monday, we have tried to assist school heads by issuing temporary movement permits to ensure that they don’t get stuck at a time when schools are preparing for promotional and final exams. We also gave out permits to the exam invigilators to ensure that exams go on smoothly,” she revealed.
Mr Asaph Kaabunga, the Mubende District Education Officer, said efforts are underway to ensure schools continue operating smoothly. 
“We have had a challenge with transport but the concerned offices are resolving the matter,” he said.
Ms Hope Graniya Nakazibwe, the Mubende Woman MP, on Tuesday said: “Boda boadas are the most common means of transport used by health workers and some of the health units are located in hard-to-reach areas.” 
Ms Nakazibwe made the remarks during a security meeting attended by the Deputy IGP Maj Gen Geoffrey Kasigazi Tumusiime at the Mubende District Council Hall.