Ugandan Muslims warned not to wash the dead over Ebola

The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has warned Muslims not to wash bodies of people who die in areas suspected to have Ebola.

Ugandan Muslims warned not to wash the dead over Ebola
This is one of the measures to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever outbreak in Bundibugyo district.

The disease is spread through contact with body fluids of an infected person.

The Ministry of Health put the death toll by yesterday at 29 in Bundibugyo and 113 infected. The move by UMSC followed a request by the Ministry of Health to suspend their religious ritual.

He asked Muslims in Ebola areas to stop sharing containers in which they carry water for ablution before they pray.

A new suspected Ebola case was admitted at Kagadi Hospital in Kibaale district yesterday.

The 42-year-old Special Police Constable attached to Sunga Police Station, had bloody diarrhoea, vomited, had a high fever, headache and complained of abdominal pain.

The head of the Ebola task force in Kibaale, Dr. Isaac Kakibogo, said blood samples from the man would be tested in Entebbe.

As soon as the man was admitted, over 20 other patients fled. Patients left the hospital with drips still attached to their hands and held up by relatives. Even the people who brought the patient and some health workers fled. Private clinics in Kagadi filled up with patients who had run away from the hospital.

Dr. Kakibogo said the hospital did not have enough protective gear and had neither running water nor electricity. He said he was worried that if other cases came in, they may abandon their work.

The ministry has warned the public, especially in Bundibugyo and the surrounding districts of Hoima, Kibale, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Ibanda, Bushenyi and Mbarara, to avoid unnecessary movements and gatherings.

Medical staff in Kabarole district said yesterday blood samples from 19 Ebola suspects and their contacts were taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe for testing. Results are expected today.

Some of the suspects had fled Kichwamba when irate villagers attacked an isolation centre there, breaking its doors and windows. The villagers were protesting the location of the center in their village.

Other samples were taken from inmates of Katojo Prison who had been isolated and admitted to Buhinga Hospital.

Health workers said they were receiving calls from Kichwamba informing them of suspected cases but the villagers feared leading them to the patients. He said the people were scared of the wrath of fellow villagers.

The workers said they needed more food to feed the patients so as to minimise contact with relatives. In Kampala, Mulago Hospital has formed a task force to handle Ebola cases. The hospital management, however, said Dr. Jonah Kule, who has since died, was the only Ebola patient there.

Dr. Banterana Byarugaba, who is experienced in handling emergencies, heads the Mulago Ebola task force. He has previously headed task forces for deadly outbreaks such as the recent cholera outbreak in the city. The Mulago taskforce works closely with Kampala City Council.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 15:08