Ebola outbreak: Health worker still on oxygen

Health workers at the Ebola isolation centre at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital on September 26, 2022. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Six: The number of health workers who tested positive for Ebola

One of the six health workers, who were on Wednesday evacuated from Mubende hospital to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital stricken with Ebola, is still fighting for their life on oxygen.

Ms Sharon Atukunda, a health worker at the facility who is attending to the victims, said they are currently “managing … symptoms like headache, cough and fever, among others.”

The hospital director, Dr Alex Adaku, confirmed that five of the health workers “are much more stable … while another is still on oxygen.” He hastened to add that they “have also noticed some improvement.”

Dr Adaku added: “As a hospital, we are doing our best to minimise the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in the hospital environment. We are educating patients, giving drills to our health workers on how to put on PPEs [personal protective equipment] and constantly use the protective gear while attending to patients.”

Dr Adaku said the facility is well-equipped with PPEs that were provided during Covid-19, the Health ministry also supplied more.

He revealed that their treatment unit for Ebola patients is currently operating at full capacity, adding that they are now organising another isolation unit to accommodate other patients.

“Our treatment unit facility for Ebola was built by JEMEDIC. It has a capacity of six patients and now it’s full to capacity,” he noted before urging the public not to panic over Ebola.

On Thursday morning, a team of health workers at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, who are on Ebola surveillance, held a meeting to harmonise the working strategies on Ebola management.

Dr Solomon Asiimwe, the Fort Portal City health officer, said: “We have sensitised our health workers at our facilities on how to handle any suspected Ebola cases. This is not the first time managing Ebola. It was here before and we managed it and I’m sure we shall fight it and people should not be scared.”

The government, on September 20, confirmed the outbreak of Ebola in Mubende District after samples taken from a resident, who died at the regional referral hospital a day earlier, turned out positive for Sudan strain during a test at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

Ebola has also been confirmed in the districts of Kasanda and Kyegegwa. One person from Kyegegwa District died of Ebola on Sunday while the other two are still admitted at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.