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Public Misconception Threatens Ebola Response in Masaka :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Public Misconception Threatens Ebola Response in Masaka

Ronald Katende Kinene, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner and Chairperson of the Joint Ebola Taskforce, says the troubling misconceptions originate from the deceased's family members who still doubt the medical report concerning the patient’s ailments.
Masaka City Resident Commissioner Ronald Katende, Speaking about the Misconceptions threatening Ebola Response in the Masaka

Audio 4

Public misconception about Ebola is threatening the effective enforcement of the intervention by the Masaka district Ebola Taskforce to prevent the spread of the viral disease. On Wednesday last week, the Health Ministry put Masaka city on notice after one of the patients admitted at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital succumbed to the virus.   

The unsuspecting patient had spent almost a week in Masaka city where she interacted with several people before her health condition worsened to warrant admission to the hospital. Despite her death and medical report confirming that the deceased succumbed to Ebola, the local community is still engrossed with a lot of mistrust and misconceptions that are threatening the interventions by the joint Masaka City and District Ebola Taskforce. 

Ronald Katende Kinene, the Masaka City Resident Commissioner and Chairperson of the Joint Ebola Taskforce, says the troubling misconceptions originate from the deceased's family members who still doubt the medical report concerning the patient’s ailments.  

He observes that because the deceased had a recurrent history of miscarriages, which caused her admission, her family members including her other contacts are still indifferent and don’t believe that she indeed succumbed to the Ebola virus. 

Katende observes that the Taskforce and the surveillance teams are struggling to trace all the people that were in contact with the first deceased because some of them are deliberately hiding despite the risk they were exposed to. 

Information at the Masaka Regional Referral Hospital indicates that the Infection Prevention and Case Management team has since identified at least 70 contacts to the case. However, Katende says the vast majority of the contacts are still at large despite being called upon for monitoring.   

//Cue in: “It’s not the first time…   

Cue out: …against Ebola.”//    

Luganda 

//Cue in: “Ekyo ssi kyakasooka…. 

Cue out; ….tujja zijjayo.”//    

As a remedy, Katende observes that they found it appropriate to merge forces in the City and District structures such that they consolidate their efforts and the available resources to respond to the challenges frustrating their progress. 

He indicates that they are going on mass mobilization campaigns using different media platforms to help defuse the misconception about the Ebola virus and emphasize prevention in the community.  

//Cue in: “The reason why….  

Cue out; ….this taskforce.”//   

Luganda   

//Cure in: “mukawefube w’okulwanyisa….

  Cue out: ….bajj akuterera.”//   

Dr. James Elima, the Medical Superintendent of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital says that they have registered more positive cases from the samples so far collected from the suspects.        

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