Ebola: Museveni stops traditional healers, religious leaders from receiving patients

President Museveni

What you need to know:

  • The President urged traditional healers not to treat people with Ebola-like symptoms.

President Museveni has outlined loopholes that would lead to the spread of Ebola virus in the country if they aren’t dealt with.
The President urged the public to seek medical assistance if they believed they had come in contact with an infected person to get proper help.
He cited Twagirayesu Ndahiro, who succumbed to the disease early this week.
Mr Museveni said Ndahiro had contact with an Ebola patient and was supposed to be under quarantine, but he violated all health protocols leading to the spread of the virus. 

Ndahiro died at Kiruddu Hospital in Kampala City where he was admitted after escaping from Mubende District to Luweero District to seek treatment from a traditional healer.
“Stop seeking treatment for Ebola from traditional healers. Those who are in hiding should come out immediately and report to health workers for proper follow-up. Suspected cases should cooperate with health workers. If you’re infected, it doesn’t matter where you run to,” the President said yesterday during a national address. 
The Ebola was confirmed by the government in September in Mubende District. At least 54 people have contracted the Ebola virus and of these 19 have succumbed to the disease.
Mr Museveni said 10 of the 19 deceased people are members of Ndahiro’s extended family. 

He said Ndahiro’s family at one time seized the body of their relative, who died of Ebola, from officials. The body was subjected to traditional rituals before it was buried, which led to the spread of the virus. 
Ndahiro later took his brother, who had contracted the Ebola virus, to hospital. He died during a surgical operation. Several health workers, who treated him, also contracted the virus. Two medical officers have since succumbed to the virus.
The President said health workers told Ndahiro and his family to self-quarantine, but he decided to travel to Luweero District to seek treatment from a traditional healer. 

When his health deteriorated, he travelled to his relatives’ home in Busega, Kampala City, who hid him for some time before taking him to Kiruddu Hospital and registered him under a fake name and addresses. He died hours after admission. 
Mr Museveni said the body was put on a taxi and driven back to Mubende for burial. However, local leaders blocked the burial until medical experts had examined the body. The samples collected tested positive for Ebola prompting health workers to put the entire family under forced quarantine.

The President said all the contacts of the deceased in Kampala City and Luweero District have been identified as put under quarantine.
He asked traditional healers and religious leaders not to receive patients to avoid coming into contact with the virus.
“When the government announces an epidemic, the traditional healers should stop admitting customers. Have you ever seen me come here to announce a malaria outbreak or constipation! Leave the government to handle epidemics,” the President said.