Ebola: Learners in Kyegegwa shun schools

Some of the pupils who turned up for classes at Bugongo primary school in Kyegegwa District on September 26, 2022. PHOTO/ALEX ASHABA

At least 32 out of 1,222 pupils enrolled at Bugongo primary school in Kyegegwa District turned up for classes following Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the neighboring Kabarungi village.

The school head teacher, Mr Enock Birungi said Monday that one of their pupils in primary seven was on Sunday evacuated to Mubende regional referral hospital as a suspected case after developing signs and symptoms of Ebola.

"It's now 10am, in the morning we had only 32 students and I am not sure if they are still in the school. This is because our school neighbors the village where there is Ebola outbreak. Parents have been telling me to close the school but I don't have the authority to do so," he said.

Mr Birungi said the pupil who was evacuated to Mubende comes from one of the families whose members are currently at the Ebola isolation centre in Mubende.

He added ‘‘this child was at our school last Wednesday but we had told him to stay home. Unfortunately, he also developed symptoms of Ebola and was admitted. His fellow pupils are also scared and that is why they are not coming to school."

According to the headmaster, at least 22 pupils from the school on September 12, 2022 attended the burial ceremony of a child who is suspected to have died of Ebola.

“They have all been asked to stay away from the school,” he added.

However, some schools in Kyegegwa district including; Joy primary school located in Kabarungi and Visionary parents have been closed to prevent the spread of the virus among learners.

Golden primary school administrators told learners who hail from Kigarama ward where there is an Ebola outbreak to stay home.

The Kyegegwa deputy Resident District Commissioner, Ms Winnie Kyakuhaire, said the district taskforce had not directed schools to close.

The Kyegegwa district surveillance officer, Mr Ronald Mugabi, said one of the three Ebola patients who was admitted at Mubende regional referral hospital from Kyegegwa district died on Sunday and was buried on Monday.

Meanwhile, the death toll resulting from the Ebola Sudan strain in the country has reached 23, health officials have said.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior communications officer, said the latest situation report as of yesterday indicated that the country has a cumulative 36 cases of Ebola, 18 of which are confirmed and the other 18 are probable.
“The deaths stand at 23, five confirmed and 18 probable; in the last 24 hours, we registered two new cases and two more deaths,” he said.