Ugandan health Minister denies Ebola outbreak

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Ugandan Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, has told lawmakers that there is no Ebola anywhere in the country apart from that which was reported in Kasese, located in the country’s west.

“There is no Ebola in other parts of Uganda. Honorable members, I request you to disregard statements being issued by various people including the media, of Ebola outbreak.

We only confirm Ebola after we have screened a blood sample three times, not once, not twice, three times; that means we are extremely sure, that is when we say there is Ebola.

This is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Because we have been having cases of bleeding even before we have Ebola, people bleed. So, it is only when we have confirmed that we can comfortably say there is Ebola.”

Her reaction is apparently in response to reports in the local media that there was a case of Ebola in Mbarara. Since the entry into the country of Ebola via its border with the DRC, two deaths have been recorded.

With the family that are known to have crossed the border with the disease deported to the DRC.

Meanwhile, Ebola vaccines are set to be deployed in the wake of the incident.

Uganda’s health minister said on Tuesday that health workers have now been authorised to use three experimental Ebola treatments in the country, a week after the deadly disease spread over the border from Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Happy to inform you all that we got clearance from both Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and National Drug Authority to bring in the Therapeutic treatment for #Ebola patients in the country,” Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, said on Twitter.

The treatments approved for shipment to Uganda were Mapp Biopharmaceutical’s ZMapp, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s Regeneron and Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.

“The protocols for the fourth being submitted. Logistics underway with MSF support for importation of a few courses about 10 each,” he added in an email.

The U.N. health agency has said there have so far been no known cases of Ebola spreading between people in Uganda, all recorded patients had travelled in from Congo.

Four experimental therapeutic treatments are already being used in Congo, it added.

Health workers and people who came in contact with infected people began receiving a Merck experimental vaccine in Uganda on Saturday.

Hauwa Mustapha