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Buliisa District Gets First Ebola Treatment Centre

Buliisa, which shares porous borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC did not have any Ebola treatment unit despite the influx of refugees from parts of Congo that have battled Ebola for more than one year.
Buliisa district officials receiving some of the donated Beds and Matresses in the Ebola Isolation Unit.

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An Ebola Isolation Treatment Unit has been set up at Buliisa General Hospital thanks to Total E&P, which is currently carrying out oil activities under the Tilenga Project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts.  

Buliisa, which shares porous borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC did not have any Ebola treatment unit despite the influx of refugees from parts of Congo that have battled Ebola for more than one year.

The DRC outbreak which has so far recorded more than 2500 cases, is now by far the country’s largest-ever Ebola outbreak and the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016. A total of 1, 843 deaths have been registered in DRC since the outbreak was reported in August last year.

Buliisa District Ebola Prevention Focal Person Robert Mugabi says the district receives and screens over 7,000 DRC nationals who cross to the district on a monthly basis. He is optimistic that the donation will boost their operations adding that, prior to the establishment of the facility, they dreaded a possible outbreak of Ebola in the area.

Mugabi says that 16,000 households were screened for Ebola over the last one month in Buliisa district.  He says they have trained health workers who include doctors, clinicians and Environmental Health officers in Ebola case Management and surveillance network.      

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Mugabi says they still face a challenge of DRC nationals entering the district through the illegal entry points that makes it difficult for them to trace them for screening before they mix freely with the public.   

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Total E&P has now donated an assortment of medical supplies worth over 30 million Shillings to equip the Buliisa Ebola treatment unit. The Items include 10 hospital beds, 10 mattresses, Thermometers, stretchers, Jik, Gumboots, aprons, protective goggles, sprayer pumps and Tents among other medical equipment.      

Buliisa LCV Chairperson Simon Agaba Kinene applauded Total E&P for the donation saying the district is now empowered to respond to any Ebola-related cases.   

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Buliisa Resident District Commissioner Amos Asiimwe cautioned health officials in the district to put the equipment to proper use in order to avert a possible outbreak of Ebola in the area.

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The first case of Ebola in Uganda was confirmed in Kasese District, more than a month ago. Three people tested positive of Ebola in the western Uganda district.

According to the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, two of the victims eventually died and were buried in Kasese while the third victim, who was repatriated to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for further therapeutic management, died before he could reach Beni where the Ebola Treatment Centre is located.  

Ebola is a severe illness that is easily spread through direct contact with the body fluids of any person suffering from it or a dead body. 

The early symptoms of Ebola are sudden and can include fever, fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. However, when the virus multiplies in the body, the patient might start passing out blood in the stool and cough blood as well.

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