Kyegegwa’s lone ambulance grounded as Ebola fears soar

A photo showing the wreckage of Kyegegwa District ambulance after it was involved in a road crash. PHOTO/ COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The number of confirmed Ebola cases from Kyegegwa District, according to Mr Ronald Mugabi, the district surveillance officer is three

Three of the six Ebola suspects,  who were evacuated from Kyegegwa District and admitted to Mubende hospital, have tested positive for the disease, according to a senior official. 
Speaking to Saturday Monitor yesterday, the Kyegegwa District surveillance officer, Mr Ronald Mugabi, said the group was picked on Tuesday and Thursday from Kabarungi Village in Bugongo Town Council, which neighbours Kyaka II Refugee Settlement Camp.

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The Health ministry had not confirmed the Kyegegwa cases by press time yesterday.
Mr Mugabi, who doubles as a member of the Ebola task force team, said the group includes three men and three women. 
He also revealed that the surveillance team has identified 20 people who are contacts of the six. 
He said one suspect, an eight-year-old girl, died with Ebola symptoms.
Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health ministry spokesperson, said they would give an update on “the distribution of new cases” at 3pm yesterday.
Mr Swaibu Barekye, the chairperson of Bugongo Town Council, in Kyegegwa District, however, told Saturday Monitor that they are bracing themselves to deal with many contacts as many people attended the burial of the Ebola suspect.
“The child was from Mubende in Madudu where she was staying with her relatives who are now Ebola patients. When she fell sick, she was brought to her grandmother (admitted in Mubende) in Kyegegwa,” he said, adding, “She was taken to a herbalist and later to a clinic for treatment. When she failed to improve she was referred to Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.”
Mr Barekye further revealed the deceased was taken on a boda boda. Upon reaching the Rusharire Trading Centre in Mubende District, it was discovered that she had died. Her corpse would later be returned to her home for burial on September 12.
The boda boda that attempted to take the deceased to the hospital, her grandmother, the female herbalist, and her husband, among others, have since developed Ebola symptoms.
Ms Doroth Tusiime, the councillor of Bugongo Town Council, said residents have for the past week gone into some kind of existential panic. She added that they “are waiting for the results of suspects who are currently admitted at Mubende hospital.”
Ms Winnie Kyakuhaire, the Kyegegwa District chairperson for the Ebola task force, told Saturday Monitor that they have activated the Ebola task force team and also formed other sub committees, including the coordination committee, surveillance and laboratory committee, case management, among others.
She said task force committees have been tasked to start contact tracing of Ebola suspects and keep monitoring them and in case anyone develops symptoms is evacuated for treatment.
As the number of Ebola suspects increases in Kyegegwa, the district currently has no ambulance for evacuating suspects from their villages to health facilities. The district ambulance was involved in an accident and is grounded.