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SAD: Ebola kills another Ugandan health worker in Mubende

Dr. Walugembe becomes the fifth health worker to die from Ebola in a space of less than a month as the country struggles to contain the spread of the contagious virus.

Dr. John Grace Walugembe (deceased). PHOTO Courtesy

MUBENDE, UGANDA: Mubende district authorities have confirmed the death of another health worker who succumbed to Ebola as the district continues to grapple with the virus since its outbreak in Uganda on September 20.

Dr John Grace Walugembe was a laboratory technician at the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital and a proprietor of Life Care Medical Clinic in Kirungi South Division in Mubende municipality.

He becomes the fifth health worker to die from Ebola in a space of less than a month as the country struggles to contain the virus spread.

Mubende RDC Ms Rosemary Byabashaija confirmed the demise of Dr. Walugembe, who she hailed as an important pillar in the district’s health sector, and his loss leaves a big blow to the entire hospital fraternity.

“It’s too sad to lose such important people in the community”, Ms Byabashaija said briefly in a phone conversation.

The RDC last week explained that the Ebola task force together with a health surveillance team on October 10 closed Dr Walugembe’s clinic after he attended to a woman who later died from his clinic with signs and symptoms of Ebola, and he was picked up for isolation after testing positive for the deadly virus.

“We closed the clinic which had been attending to Ebola suspects after a woman died from that clinic bleeding from the mouth and nose on October 9, 2022,” Ms Byabasaija said on October 11.

At the time of his death, Dr Walugembe was receiving treatment at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.

In his address to the country last Saturday, President Museveni announced a 21-day lockdown on the central districts of Mubende and Kassanda to contain an Ebola outbreak that has already claimed 19 lives in Uganda.

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“Movements into and out of Mubende and Kassanda is prohibited,” Museveni directed in his third quick-succession night televised address on Ebola.

“There will be curfew in Mubende and Kassanda districts starting from 7pm to 6am. Public, private transport and Boda Bodas are not permitted to move in Mubende and Kassanda districts to curb Ebola,” he added.

Mr Museveni clarified that “people travelling across Mubende and Kassanda are permitted to move after police clearance and not allowed to stop or pick up a person in the two districts.”

“Any cargo to be dropped in those districts shall be dropped only during the day not beyond 5pm. If someone does so, he or she stay there for 21 days,” Mr Museveni asserted.

Uganda’s Ebola caseload has as of October 15 climbed to nearly 60 in a month from the time the contagious disease was confirmed in Mubende, which President Museveni partially attributed to public transport.

About Ebola

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EVD is transmitted through contact with the blood, stool or fluids of an infected person and objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from an infected person. Ebola outbreaks are difficult to contain, especially in urban environments.

According to the Health Ministry, the known symptoms of Ebola include high body temperatures, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding, and yellowing of the eyes. Bleeding is usually a late presentation after the above symptoms.

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