Government Earmarks Shs 2.3 bn To Combat Marburg Outbreak


dosage geneva; font-size: small; text-align: justify;”>“Ministry of Health (MoH) has developed a response plan and budget for the Marburg control amounting to Shs 2.3b of which Shs 1.7b is for central level activities including MoH, this six generals hospitals and Kampala Capital City Authority, find ” said Ondoa.

She said that this will majorly be for case management, surveillance, research and social mobilization and procurement of protective gears. “The district budget totals 651, 047, 576,” she added on.

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She also said that out of the six people who have died so far, only three were confirmed positive for Marburg and currently there is only one confirmed case admitted in isolation facility at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

“One convalescent case is detained at Rushoroza Health Center III while five suspect cases linked to initial cases are admitted there awaiting blood results,” said Ondoa.

Ministry of Health has 196 Marburg contacts under close monitoring and also from Kampala, Rukungiri and districts.

Dr. Joaquim Saweka, World Health Organisation Country Representative, said that South Western is more prone to such diseases because it is one of the areas rich in forests of which they are habitants of animals.

“Marburg and Ebola are Zoonosis animal diseases but their key difference is the virus that causes them. Also the time lag when the disease breaks out is different, Ebola takes about 3 to 21 days well as Marburg takes 1 to 9 days,” he said.

“Therefore Marburg’s capacity to kill ranging from 70 percent to 90 percent is more serious than Ebola’s 40 percent to 60 percent,” said Saweka.

Ondoa said that special team of doctors and nurses have been allocated to all the disease contacts and that in Rushoroza a burial committee has been set up and oriented on the burial procedures to avoid the spread of the disease.

“We have the best surveillance team working on how to stop this disease. Within few days a team from CDCS will come to Uganda to make an ecological study in Kabale,” she said.

Saweka commented on the issue of ensuring that Uganda’s boarder to Congo is safe. “With the boarder with Congo, we have a strong team helping and monitoring there and we can assure the public that Uganda surveillance is one of the best,” he said.

He also said the first outbreak of Marburg was in 2007 particularly in Kawenge district, Maramagambo forest from bats. “Also in Germany, it was established when monkeys got from Uganda were studied and examined,” he added on.

Saweka also urged the government to come up with more resources to stop the outbreak and funds should be allocated strategically to the ministry of health.

The outbreak of Marburg was first declared on October 19 by Ministry of Health after receiving laboratory results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) confirming that two family members had died of the highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever.

Earlier other three members of the same family had died of a strange disease in a period of one month.

The death of these people prompted the District Health Office to undertake further investigations of this strange disease that had ravaged Kitumba parish in Kitumba sub-county, kabala district.

This outbreak comes barely two weeks after the Ministry declared an end to another viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola) on October 4.

Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever which kills in a short time but can be prevented. It is spread through direct contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.

A person suffering from Marburg presents with sudden onset of high fever of the following; headache, vomiting blood, joint and muscle pains and bleeding through the body openings like eyes (red eyes), nose, gums, ears, anus and the skin.

Ondoa urged the public to take precautions measures to avert the spread of the disease like reporting immediately any suspected patient to a nearby health unit, avoid direct contact with an infected person, and avoid eating dead animals and unnecessary public gathering especially in affected districts.


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