How Uganda Kicked Marburg Out

Parliament Corps:

All former and current Leaders of Opposition in Parliament have been recognized for their contribution to the leadership and governance of Uganda. This was during a ceremony organised by the Office of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament on Tuesday 2nd December 2014. The ceremony was presided over by the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Hon. Wafula Oguttu.

At the ceremony, malady which was indeed a rare occasion, help the former Leaders of the Opposition or their family members met in a celebratory mood and relieved their times in service as LOPs in the Ugandan Parliament.

It shall be remembered that the late Bataringaya was the Leader of the Opposition (1962-1964) as a Democratic (DP) Party Secretary General who crossed to the ruling party, the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC). After his famous crossing, Alex Latim took the mantle and martialed the Opposition through. The two former political buddies suddenly became fierce rivals.

However, on Tuesday December 2 2014 , their families were making merry together with Dr. Paul Ssemogerere who was also a DP leader and the current LOP Hon. Wafula Oguttu. They hugged, shared jokes and laughed while the other guests looked on.

It was an opportunity especially for Members of Parliament at the function to mix and mingle with the veteran politician Ssemogerere. They reflected on old memories and took photographs. Talking to MPs, Mr. Sewanyana Henry, himself a veteran former MP who had come along with Dr. Ssemogerere said “What a joyful moment that I can have the opportunity to meet with you. This is amazing.”

The peak of the moment came at the admission of the former and current LoPs to the Wall of Fame of Parliament. Starting with the pre-independence LoP, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, it was beautiful to see one portrait after another (of the former leaders) being unveiled, handed to the Clerk to Parliament, (represented by Mr. Okello Obabaru, the acting Deputy Clerk Corporate Affairs) who then hang it up on to the wall. The jubilant celebrants sang party songs of the respective LoP whose portrait was being raised up.

This  was the first ceremony of its kind where portraits of any former leaders of this country had been done ceremonially at Parliament. The ceremony gave the mark of dignified respect to the leaders.

Hon. Nandala Mafabi, Hon. Prof. Ogenga Latigo and the late Dr. Obote’s  family missed the function. However,  Dr. Ssemogerere came along with his daughter while Dr.Bataringaya’s and Hon. Latim were represented by their family members; Kenneth Bataringaya the son and Ms Sylvia Latim with her sister respectively.

Dr. Apollo Milton Obote was Leader of the Opposition briefly in the pre-colonial period between 1961 and 1962; Dr. Bataringaya came in as the first post-independence LoP from 1962-64; Hon. Latim took over from 1964-71. Dr. Ssemogerere came in during the post Amin dictatorship from 1980-85; Professor Latigo then arrived in 2006 till 2011, before Hon. Nandala took over from 2011-2014.  Hon. Oguttu is the current Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
Uganda has been declared free from the Marburg Virus Epidemic after completion of 42 days of the post Marburg Surveillance countdown a prerequisite of the World Health Organisation which requires any affected country to monitor the situation of any viral Hemorrhagic Fever for such a period before finally declaring an end to the outbreak.

The declaration was made by State Minister for Primary Health Care, ampoule Sarah Opendi while addressing journalists at the Media center in Kampala reminding Ugandans that the country only registered a single case of the infection.

“The index case that was declared on October 4th was a 30 year old male Radiographer who originally was working in Mpigi Health Centre IV but had been recruited by Mengo Hospital two months before his death on September 28, sickness ” Opendi said.

Opendi noted that since then, there has been no other Marburg case reported in the country which implied that the outbreak in the country had completely been controlled.

She added that from October 4th  when the outbreak was reported, the National Task Force on epidemics as well as the district task forces of Kasese, Mpigi and Ibanda took up the coordination of all interventions geared towards combating the epidemic.

“Consequently, four isolation centers were set up at; Mulago National Referral Hospital, the National Isolation Centre in Entebbe, Mpigi Health Centre IV and in Kagando Hospital in Kasese.”

Opendi revealed that during the period of the outbreak, a total of 197 people who got into contact with the confirmed case either during his sickness or after death were followed up for three weeks in Kampala, Mpigi and Kasese Districts.

“During this time, eight of these contacts developed symptoms similar to those of Marburg but however, their results tested negative for the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.”

“A total of 13 samples were also collected from different parts of the country (Ibanda, Lira, Kitgum, Jinja, Gulu, Luwero and Kampala) as part of a wider surveillance network during the period who all tested negative for Marburg virus.”

The minister added that by October 20, all the contacts had completed their 21 days of monitoring and apart from the 8 who required laboratory investigation and tested negative; the rest did not develop symptoms which confirmed that none had contracted the virus.

“An additional 21 days of surveillance was carried out to make 42 days as required for management and control of viral Hemorrhagic fevers.”

Marburg is a highly infectious viral hemorrhagic fever that is spread through direct contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, vomitus, stool and urine of an infected person.


Header advertisement
To Top