Tanzanian Doctor who Died of Ebola Buried in Fort Portal – Uganda

The Medical doctor who succumbed to the Ebola Virus Disease at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital on Saturday morning was buried on Sunday at the Fort Portal City public cemetery in Bukwali Central Division Fort Portal town. 

Dr Mohammed Ali was one of the six medical workers who were infected while treating Ebola patients at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital and were transferred to Fort Portal for better treatment ad management on Wednesday.  Dr Ali was perusing a Master of Medicine in Surgery at Kampala International University. 

Angalia Godwin Kasigwa the Resident City Commissioner Port Portal City told URN that after bilateral consultations between Uganda and the Embassy of Tanzania in Uganda, it was agreed upon that the burial should be conducted at the place where he died from. He says that due to safety and precautionary measures taken while handling such epidemics, it is recommended to bury the victim where they die from.

Dr Alex Adaku, the Fort Portal RRH Director said that the hospital is currently managing six health workers with Ebola. Five are the ones that were transferred from Mubende on Wednesday with the deceased while the sixth is new case.  

Dr Adaku says that this one is also a medical student who was in Mubende hospital and is a contact of the deceased. He adds the contact who hails from Bunyangabu district brought himself to Fort Portal hospital on Friday and informed them that he had symptoms of Ebola like fever, headache and since he had been in contact with Dr Ali he was immediately put in isolation.

A sample was taken and sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute and results came back showing the he is positive.

At the cemetery, the grave was dug in the morning and at 11:30 and when our reporter arrived there, it was already prepared. The body which was wrapped in body bags, was kept at the hospital mortuary where it was picked from to the cemetery for burial.

A team of seven members on the Ebola task force burial team donned in the personal protective gear was at the mortuary ready to carry out the burial. The team was donned fully in the attire that comprised of a coveralls, gloves, gumboots, googles, aprons, An95 masks. 

The team was helped by the medical members on the task force to don the equipment. After the body was transported in a double cabin pickup to the burial grounds. Two members on the burial team followed the ones that were carrying the body, fumigating everywhere they passed. 

At around 3:30 PM, the team together with the body arrived at the burial grounds in Bukwali. The body was then picked from the car and carried by the burial team up to the grave. Since the deceased was a Muslim, Adulai Baguma, the imam of Bukwali Mosque together with some colleagues of the deceased who are Tanzanian students at Kampala International University held short prayers for the deceased. 

Later, between 3:45-3:55 the body of Dr Mohammed was lowered into the grave with the guidance of the Imam in regard to the Muslim mode of burial. Those that witnessed the burial were not allowed to get near the grave and were kept about 500 meters from it because they were not dressed in the protective gear.

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