Sunday, March 3News That Matters

Uganda has tightened her security at the border due to marburg outbreak in Tanzania.

Uganda is on high alert of the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) following the death of five people in Tanzania from the disease. The outbreak has prompted the government to take swift action to prevent the spread of the disease across the border and ensure the safety and health of its citizens.
The Tanzanian Health Ministry has confirmed the presence of this highly contagious disease through the National Laboratory. The disease was first detected last week in Maruku and Kanyangereko villages in Bukoba Rural district within the Kagera region, but the health authorities were initially unaware of what it was.
It exhibited severe symptoms such as sudden fever, vomiting, body aches, bleeding from various parts of the body, and kidney dysfunction.
The deceased are among the eight patients who were reportedly admitted to a health facility for special attention while investigations by health experts continue.
The samples from the victims had been taken for laboratory tests to determine the illness which later confirmed MVD. Authorities said that 161 contacts have been identified and are under observation.
According to Tanzania’s Minister of Health, Ummy Mwalimu, there is currently no specific cure for the disease, but patients can receive treatment to improve their symptoms.
As a result, the Kyotera District Health Department in collaboration with the Mutukula border authorities has strengthened the border controls to prevent any potential occurrences.
With the world still healing from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outbreak in Tanzania clearly highlights the need for vigilance and swift action to prevent the spread of disease across borders.
According to Dr. Edward Muwanga, the Kyotera District Health Officer, they received a warning about the outbreak on Tuesday but the information from their Tanzanian counterparts was still scanty. He stated that measures had been taken to protect Ugandans from the disease.
“While the situation is tense in Tanzania, it is still calm on our side (Uganda) but the district health team is not seated,” Muwanga said, noting that any new disease outbreak at this time is cause for concern since the world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said that they have deployed additional health workers to Mutukula border post and Kasensero town council to screen all incoming travellers for symptoms of the disease.
The district, also, has promptly revived the District Taskforce to boost surveillance and awareness initiatives to ensure that its residents are informed about the outbreak in the neighbouring country and how to prevent infection.
“The Taskforce has placed emphasis on increasing screening of incoming travellers and being more vigilant. Still, the surveillance activities within the health facilities and the surrounding communities will be among the key strategies,” he explained.
Using this strategy, he said, they will try to spot the illnesses and deaths from unknown causes or MVD so that they are not taken by surprise.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) have joined Uganda in an effort to limit MVD in case it spreads from Tanzania. “We can able counter any emergent issues with the joint effort,” Muwanga stated.
Emmanuel Ainebyona, the Ministry of Health’s Public Relations Officer, said that the Centers for Disease Control, WHO, UNICEF, and other organisations have confirmed their support in the effort to spread awareness and prevent the MVD outbreak,
The ministry and other teams are putting a focus on risk communication and risk assessment in the meantime to protect its citizens, particularly those near the Mutukula border.
Ainebyona said that Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng, the Minister of Health, has ordered that the mobile laboratories that were transferred to Mubende be relocated to Kyotera district to support their activities.

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