Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has activated its surveillance of the transport sector to limit the importation of the Ebola virus disease from other districts. According to figures provided by the Ministry of Health, Kampala has so far registered 15 cases of Ebola, all of which were contacts to Ebola victims from Mubende and Kassanda districts.
Dr. Alex Ndyabakira, the City Incident Commander at KCCA, says that to shield Kampala from Ebola victims entering and interacting with communities, they have put in place field surveillance officers who keep track of the automobiles like taxis and buses that enter or exit the city.
“If any person is reported to have issues, we track this via the CCTV, working closely with police. For instance, those that Transport Ebola bodies unaware,” he said. He says that in its response plan, KCCA is working with local leaders like Local Council One officials and Village Health Teams to report any suspected Ebola case that gets into the communities.
Each of the five divisions of Kampala has a team of 40 people consisting of clinicians, laboratory technicians, Social workers, and others who form the Ebola response team. These work with political leaders to sensitize the public, respond to alerts and follow up on reported contacts.
Earlier, Simon Kasyate the Spokesperson of KCCA told URN that they are also working in tandem with the taxi and bus leadership at stages to identify any suspicious cases and alert the authority immediately. KCCA has offices in most of these transport hubs in Kampala.
On Monday 24th October, 12 new cases were reported in Kampala. Five were family members of a man whose brother had died of Ebola and was buried in Kassanda district. Two people from Masanafu, a Kampala suburb were neighbors to the family, two were health workers, one person interacted with the deceased while at Mulago National Refferal Hospital, and two others.
KCCA says as they safeguard Kampala, they are ready to deal with any eventualities and have since received supplies from the National Medical Stores-NMS, which include 500 pieces of safety googles, 500 pieces of disposal protective face shields,100 KN-95 respirator masks, 800 pieces of coveralls, 100 chemo nitrile gloves, among others.
Health workers at the different health facilities have been asked to keep Vigilant and work with the Ministry of Health, forward any suspected case to Entebbe for treatment and send the contacts to Mulago or Naguru hospitals for isolation.
With over three million people estimated to be entering Kampala every day, the City is thought to be at threat and could possibly turn into a spread area for Ebola to other parts of the country. The sensitivity of Kampala’s potential to turn into an Epicenter has prompted some voices like the Uganda Medical Association to suggest a lockdown of the City.
As of October 24th, the Ministry of Health data indicated that five new cases had been confirmed, bringing the number of active cases to 33, 15 were from Greater Kampala. The total number of confirmed cases is 95 while 28 deaths, 34 recoveries, and 1830 contacts have been registered and listed for follow-up respectively.
Ebola spreads through exposure to an infected person’s fluids including blood and sweat. Its victims present with symptoms such as diarrhea, unexpected fever, fatigue, and bleeding from the different openings of the body.