Uganda’s Fifth Ebola Outbreak That claimed 55 Lives Comes to an End

By Brenda Namugenyi

Updated at 14:40 EAT by HICGI News Agency on 11th Jan 2023

A burial team from Uganda Red Cross Society buries a victim of Ebola in Mubende in October. Courtesy Image / Uganda Red Cross Society.

The world health Organization has declared Uganda free from the Ebola virus almost four months since the first case was reported.

On 20th September 2022, Ebola, Sudan variant was declared in the districts of Mubende and Kassanda. The virus had killed one confirmed case and 7 other probable cases.  

Between September and December 2022, there were 142 confirmed cases. 55 people have succumbed to the virus including seven health workers while 87 have recovered.

The outbreak was reported in nine districts including Mubende and Kassanda (the epicenter), Wakiso, Kampala, Kyenjojo among others. This is the worst outbreak the country has experienced in two decades. Overall, Uganda has endured five outbreaks of Ebola.

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The declaration follows 42 days countdown with no confirmed or probable cases. This is twice the incubation period for Ebola virus. 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus the director general of the world health organization says the lessons learnt and systems put in place for the outbreak will protect Ugandans and others in the years ahead. 

“I congratulate Uganda for its robust and comprehensive response which has resulted in today’s victory against Ebola. Uganda has shown that Ebola can be defeated when the whole system works together.”  He noted. 

The minister of health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng says the progress followed key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection prevention and control.  “while we expanded our efforts to put a strong response in place across the all nine districts, the magic bullet has been our communities who understood the importance of doing what was needed to end the outbreak. ” Aceng said on Wednesday. 

On 17th December 2022, government lifted movement and curfew restrictions which imposed on the residents of mubende and Kassanda curb the spread of the epidemic.

A victim of Ebola being taken for burial in Mubende in October.

The declaration from World Health organization and the ministry of health brings in new hopes for the residents who faced the wrath of the pandemic. 

Peter Ssekayiba a resident of Kiryamakobe in Madudu subcounty feels relieved. “the worst part of it all was the lockdown. Iam now hopeful that when schools open, my teaching duties won’t be affected.” He said.

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