Local leaders cautioned against stirring panic in locals by declaring Ebola outbreaks
District health officers and Political Leaders have been cautioned against declaring Ebola outbreaks in their jurisdictions without authorization from the Health ministry.
The warning was sounded by Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, following a scare that came with the death of a Congolese national in Ariwara, an area that shares a common border with Arua district, prompting leaders to issue messages insinuating a possible case of Ebola in the area.
According to local leaders, the case had travelled overland from Beni and is the first to be confirmed in this health zone.
Arua district in Uganda shares a border with Ariwara health zone, with a high volume of trade and population movement.
The Ministry of Health has dispatched the National Rapid Response Team for needs assessment, and the vaccination team from Kasese to start vaccinating the front-line health workers in Arua District.
The minister while speaking in Arua during the Ebola Assessment meeting for West Nile on Thursday, said that the response is aimed at increasing Uganda’s level of preparedness and not a confirmation of an Ebola case in West Nile.
Dr. Aceng also urged the leaders not to stop markets and schools along the border with DRC saying activities must continue normally unless there is a confirmed outbreak of Ebola.
Arua District Health Officer Dr Paul Bisop Drileba said that health officers are aware of the protocol for declaration of contagious diseases in an area. Dr Drileba blames the flaws on social media which the public is erroneously using to respond to fragile situations.