Family denies exhuming body of Ebola casuality

The Mubende burial team loads a casket containing a body of an Ebola victim onto a pick-up truck last month. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • While addressing the nation on Tuesday, President Museveni reported that 10 people from Kassanda District, who that had come into contact with the body had died of Ebola.
  • The family has asked the government to institute a special investigation to examine the grave and possibly exhume the body to find out if it was tampered with.

The family of an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) victim, whose body was allegedly exhumed by unknown people, have asked the Ministry of Health and the security agencies to investigate the incident.
The incident took place in Kitongo Village, Kalwana Sub-county Kassanda District about a month ago, according to district health officials.

While meeting the Kassanda District Ebola taskforce, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, and other officials at Kassanda District headquarters on Wednesday, a family representative, Mr Mubarak Muwade Kawuki, denied claims that they exhumed the body to perform Muslim burial rituals on it.
He added that they are now being stigmatised, “causing a lot of distress to our family”. 
“Our own investigation reveals that nobody tempered with the grave,” he said.
Mr Kawuki insisted that the rituals and the preparation of the grave were performed prior to their loved one being buried.
He added that the interment was done by the burial team from the government.

 “There was no single reason as family members to have the body of a person presumed to have died of Ebola exhumed in the name of performing a religious burial,” he said. 
He added: “It is also interesting that when we asked the police to investigate the incident, they have failed to give us a report.”
The family has asked the government to institute a special investigation to examine the grave and possibly exhume the body to find out if it was tampered with.

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng (2nd left), World Health Organisation regional director Matshidiso Moeti (left) and other officials at the Ebola Treatment Unit which is under construction in Kassanda District on November 16, 2022. Photo/Barbra Nalweyiso


But in an earlier interview with this paper, the Kassanda Resident District Commissioner, Ms Phoebe Namulindwa, revealed that the health officials have recovered some evidence but did not give any more details on the matter.
She added that some people had also confessed to exhuming the body.

“I only request the community to stop stigmatising the family because we are all focused on fighting the Ebola Virus Disease in Kassanda District,” she said.
Meanwhile Dr Aceng urged the family to join the fight against Ebola and forget the past.
“I will call the team and interact with them to find out what really happened. We have had some challenges in Kassanda District as we fight the Ebola pandemic. We should work as a team to stop the spread of Ebola,” she said.
It was revealed at the meeting that the cumulative confirmed Ebola cases is now 50, while the cumulative death cases are now 18 in Kassanda District.

While addressing the nation on Tuesday, President Museveni reported that 10 people from Kassanda District, who that had come into contact with the body had died of Ebola.
Earlier in the day, Dr Aceng, together with the World Health Organisation regional director, Dr Matshidiso Moeti; the Norwegian Ambassador; and other partners toured the new Ebola treatment unit that is under construction at Kassanda Sub-county.
After the meeting the group proceeded to Mubende District.


 

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