Doctors mourn Tanzanian colleague who succumbed to Ebola in Uganda

This photo tweeted by Association of Surgeons of Uganda on October 1, 2022 shows Dr Mohammed Ali, a 37-year-old Tanzania national who has been pursuing a Master of Medicine in Surgery at Kampala International University who succumbed to Ebola. PHOTO/ COURTESY

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Dr Samuel Oledo, the UMA president, said the Health ministry should also ensure that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is distributed to all facilities to minimise infections. 

Doctors have eulogised Dr Mohammed Ali, the 37-year-old Tanzanian doctor who died of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Uganda two days ago, as a selfless person who gave his all to save the lives of patients.
Dr Ali was pursuing a Master of Medicine in Surgery at Kampala International University to become a specialist. 
He was attached as a senior house officer (SHO) at Mubende Hospital, the facility where he is suspected to have contracted the virus.
The SHO became the second health worker to die of Ebola in the current outbreak. 

Dr Ali died a few weeks after the death of a midwife from St Florence Clinic in Mubende, a probable case because she died before testing.
Speaking to this publication in Kampala yesterday, Dr Asaph Owamukama, the head of SHOs, said Dr Ali was dedicated. 
“He contracted Ebola virus from a patient while doing an operation. He developed symptoms and he was isolated. But he succumbed to Ebola two days ago,” Dr Owamukama said.
He added: “We remember him as a very dedicated student and a comrade who gave his time and life to saving patients. He was one of those students who was selfless. That is why he had jumped in to help the patient.”

Dr Musa Lumumba, the president of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns , said Dr Ali was also a committed Muslim.
“The bravest among us sacrifice their lives to save the rest of the population from epidemics like Ebola and wars. We know how brutal a disease like Ebola can be,” he said. 
Dr Lumumba implored doctors who are serving in the Ebola treatment centres to give their best.
Dr Samuel Oledo, the president of the Uganda Medical Association, said Dr Ali’s death is a great pain to the medical fraternity.
“Uganda Medical Association received with great sadness the news of the death of Dr Ali. We send our condolences to his next of kin and family, his friends, Kampala International University and to the medical fraternity in Uganda, East Africa and worldwide,” he said.

Dr Oledo appealed to the government to provide the best possible care to the infected health workers, who are currently about seven . 
He said the medical interns should be redistributed to other health facilities that are managing Ebola patients to minimise infection. 
“All the medical interns who are at Mubende Hospital should show up for screening because they are the first contacts of their colleagues whom they worked with and even the Ebola patients,” Dr Oledo said. 

He added: “If you test positive, allow yourself to be isolated and treated because hiding will predispose you to complication. We don’t want to receive you in the critical stage of the disease when we cannot do anything at such a time.”
However, Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services, last week said the interns will be kept at Mubende Hospital so they can learn how to handle Ebola cases.  
Dr Mwebesa said there were gaps in infection prevention which made the health workers contract the virus. 
“They operated on a patient who was vomiting and bleeding. This was before we confirmed Ebola,” he said.