The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Health has issued a health advisory following the outbreak of Ebola in the neighbouring country of Uganda.
The Ministry in a statement issued on Wednesday disclosed it had received an alert from the Ugandan Health Ministry on the outbreak in its efforts to keep the East African Community Health Protocols and maintain ties.
The Health Ministry said it has been informed of the Ebola outbreak at a village in Mubende District of Central Uganda and so far only one fatality has been reported.
“The Ministry of Health has received an alert from the Ministry of Health in Uganda on the outbreak of Ebola in the country. This alert is in keeping with the East African Community Health protocols and further promotes good neighbourliness. I take this opportunity to most sincerely thank the Government of Uganda and assure them of our highest regards as it moves to contain the outbreak,” the statement read.
“According to the report from Ugandan authorities, the outbreak has been detected in Ngabano village of Madudu Sub County, Mubende District in Central Uganda. So far, only one fatal case has been reported, a 24-year-old male who died on 19th September 2022.”
The victim had been treated for other symptoms before developing Ebola-like symptoms and signs.
Health officials in Uganda are currently conducting contact tracing to identify any close contacts of the deceased. Six suspicious prior deaths are currently under investigation.
The government noted the modes of transport in the region, including air, water and road, which all put Kenya at high risk of disease importation and therefore members of the public need to be vigilant and report any suspected cases.
“The main mode of transport is road, air and water (through Lake Victoria). Some of the formal land crossings include border points such as; Busia, Malaba, Lwakhakha, Suam and air travel through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Kisumu International Airport, Moi International Airport and Eldoret International Airport,” the statement read in part.
“In addition, there are numerous informal land and water border crossing points.”
The Government has therefore issued an alert to all counties to among other measures, be vigilant and enhance surveillance at borders, activate rapid response teams to support the identification of any suspected cases, sensitise the community to identify suspected cases and sensitise health care workers on Infection.
The Health CS Mutahi Kagwi appealed to Kenyans visiting Uganda or the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to take extra precautions
“I call on members of the public to take heightened precautions while visiting Uganda as well as Democratic Republic of Congo,” Kagwe said.
The CS also asked the public to watch out for any person presenting the signs and symptoms of Ebola, especially those who have been in contact with people who had travelled to Uganda or DRC.
The symptoms include:
- Abdominal pains
- Sore throat
- Measles like rash
- Red eyes
Bleeding from body openings
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and often fatal illness in humans caused by the Ebola virus which is said to have been transmitted to people from wild animals.
It spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.