Ebola: Uganda sends 5 back to Congo

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Jane Aceng at Mpondwe border

Today, 13 June 2019 at 10:00am, the Democratic Republic of Congo team successfully repatriated five people.

These are; mother of the deceased index case, the 3-year-old confirmed Ebola case, her 6-month old baby and the maid.

The father of the deceased index case who is Ugandan also agreed to be  repatriated with his family.

All the six people who entered Uganda from DRC have now been accounted for.

As of now, there is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda. However, 3 suspected cases not related to the deceased index case remain in isolation at Bwera Hospital Ebola Treatment Unit.

Their blood samples have been sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and results are pending.

At about 3:00PM, teams from Ministry of Health DRC led by Dr. Tshapenda Gaston joined the meeting.

They came into Uganda at the invitation of the Ugandan Minister of Health. The purpose of their invitation was to harmonize ideas on how to further strengthen screening at the border points, prompt sharing of information and conclude the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with DRC that also includes cross border movements of patients.

It was resolved that all the unofficial points of entry would be manned on both Ugandan and DRC sides and information on any unusual event shared immediately.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be undertaken within two weeks.

During the meeting, the teams from DRC requested for the possibility of Uganda accepting the repatriation of the Congolese who were confirmed Ebola cases and were being managed at the Bwera ETU.

The DRC team proposed to repatriate six (6) Ebola patients back to DRC to enable them access medicines for therapeutic treatment which are available in the DRC as well as receive family support and comfort since they had 6 other relatives who had remained behind in DRC and 5 of whom had also been confirmed positive for Ebola.

The repatriation is on condition that the patients and their relatives give informed consent and willingly accept to go to the DRC while those who are not willing to consent will be retained and managed in Uganda.

The five patients include; one confirmed case; brother of the deceased index case and four suspected cases who are; mother of the deceased index case, her 6-month old baby, their maid and father of the deceased index case who is a Ugandan.

The Ministry of Health has so far registered three (3) confirmed cases of Ebola. Two of these have since passed on.

The most recent being the 50-year-old grandmother of the deceased index Ebola case who travelled from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the 10th June 2019 and tested positive for Ebola but died last evening at 4:00pm.

She will be accorded a safe burial at a public cemetery today in Kasese District.

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