Congo-Kinshasa: Uganda to Repatriate Ebola Patients Back to DRC

The isolation centre set up in Bwera, Kasese District where the five-year-old boy who tested positive for Ebola died from.

Uganda is set to repatriate the five confirmed and suspected Ebola patients back to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The five cases are all from the same family that recently travelled to DRC to attend the burial of a relative, who succumbed to the deadly virus.

On crossing to Uganda through Bwera border post on June 11, their 5-year-old boy developed symptoms of the deadly virus disease and passed away a day later. His 50-year-old grandmother also passed on Wednesday while his 3-year-old brother was also confirmed to have been infected by the virus. His mother and father, their housemaid and a 6-month baby have all been isolated as suspected cases.

Uganda health minister Jane Ruth Aceng says, following a meeting with their Congolese counterparts in Kasese district on Wednesday, the authorities have resolved to have the five confirmed and suspected cases repatriated to Congo because the family has relatives there and therefore would feel more comfortable having their relatives by their side.

The 5-year-old's mother is of Congolese origin but got married to a Ugandan husband and has been living in Kasese district in western Uganda.

Having battled the outbreak since August last year, Aceng said DRC already has established treatment structures and facilities in place already and therefore the patients will greatly benefit from the established therapeutic treatment.

However Aceng said the victims will only be repatriated on condition that they consent and if they refuse, they will treated and buried in Uganda in case they are to pass on.

Aceng said 50 others have been listed as contacts and any of the contacts is a potential patient and asked Uganda to be extra vigilant and look out for the symptoms of the disease that include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore threat. Ebola is spread through getting in contact with fluids of an infected person such as blood, sweat, faeces and vomit.

All suspected cases should be reported to the nearest health facility or on this toll free number - 0800203033.

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