Masaka City on Wednesday recorded its first Ebola death after one of the two patients earlier admitted at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital succumbed to the deadly virus hours after being evacuated to Entebbe treatment centre.
According to the hospital principal administrator, Mr Charles Tumushime, the female victim first suffered a miscarriage as she was receiving treatment at St. Joseph’s Clinic in Kimaanya, Masaka City before she was referred to the regional health facility in critical condition.
“We received the 23-year-old victim on October 31 when she had all signs and symptoms of Ebola and she was immediately isolated,” Mr Tumushime said in an interview yesterday.
The victim was a resident of Kabowa in Kampala and when she fell sick, her parents in Kimaanya A, a Masaka City suburb asked her to go and they take care of her.
When her blood sample was taken to Uganda Virus Research Institute- Entebbe for testing, it turned out positive for the virus, according to Mr Tumushime.
“Last night [Tuesday] she was evacuated to Entebbe by the Ministry of Health team where she died this morning [Wednesday],” he added.
Mr Tumushime said the deceased’s parents who were taking care of her in the hospital have already been isolated at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala as they search for all her contacts.
A medic at St. Joseph’s Clinic who preferred anonymity said when they received the patient –now deceased, they considered all preventive measures while handling her because she had already presented symptoms similar to those of Ebola.
Masaka Regional Referral Hospital Director, Dr James Elima said nurses who have been treating the deceased will also be isolated for 21 days .
“We ask people in Masaka to remain vigilant. We know this is the grasshopper season and dealers are implored to observe proper hygiene to avoid contamination and infecting others,” he said.
He said the hospital is continuing to operate normally with more vigilance at all gates entering the hospital.
“No one is allowed to enter without a face mask and must thoroughly wash their hands with water and soap and their body temperature measured before entering,” Dr Elima said
He said the other Ebola patient, also a female aged 38 from Sembabule District is fully recovering and will soon be discharged.
Masaka City Resident City Commissioner, Mr Ronald Katende said they are going to convene meetings with Masaka City dwellers to sensitise them on how to protect themselves against Ebola.