7 January 2013

Uganda: Health Ministry Declares Kabale, Ibanda Marburg-Free

Photo: New Vision/File
After 42 days of no new cases, the health ministry has declared Ibanda and Kabele free of Marburg (file photo).

The Minister for Health, Dr. Christine Ondoa, has declared Kabale and Ibanda districts free of the marburg epidemic.

This comes after 42 days elapsed without any new cases reported in the two districts.

Ondoa made the declaration on Thursday at Kabale district council hall after a two-day tour of the district's marburg isolation centres and a meeting with the district's taskforce on marburg.

Marburg fever broke out in September in Mwisi village, Kitumba sub-county in Kabale.

Seven people are reported to have succumbed to it, while seven others, including a five-month-old child, recovered from the hemorrhagic fever.

Ondoa urged the district health teams to be vigilant because the region is prone to neglected tropical diseases and has several hosts of the diseases such as natural forests and wild animals.

"My ministry is committed to working jointly with the regional health authorities in Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo in fighting these deadly neglected tropical diseases, especially marburg and ebola," said Ondoa.

She disclosed that the ministry donated 12 hospital beds and mattresses to Rushoroza health centre outside Kabale town for accepting to host the Marburg Isolation Centre

Dr. Patrick Tusiime, the director of health services in Kabale, said their investigations traced the source of marburg fever to Ibanda and Kamwengye districts.

He explained that the epidemic mainly affected one family, where four of the seven died. One of the deceased was a primary school teacher in Ibanda.

Tusiime commended the people of Kabale for co-operating with the marburg taskforce and accepting to suspend long-held traditions such as shaking hands, hugging and ritual washing of dead bodies.

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