Sunday , January 17 2021

Uganda: Govt Readies for construction outside Ebola along the border of DRC

In Uganda, officials have stepped up measures to prevent the emergence of the deadly Ebola virus. Ebola infected 319 residents in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo since August, killing 198. Border between countries remains open and health experts fear that the virus will enter Uganda through cross-border traffic.

The Lamia River marks the border between the province of North Kivu and Uganda that was infected with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Despite the lethal viral outbreak, the Ugandan Ministry of Health says that 20,000 people cross the border every week, putting the country at high risk.

Uganda Jane Biira goes to the DRC side at least twice a week to buy food and charcoal to sell back home.

"We have heard that the illness is there, but we have to go out and exchange, we are a little afraid, because we have not seen anyone get sick with Ebola where we go, we buy the goods and we leave."

When Biira and others cross Uganda, they are controlled by healthcare members and volunteers, such as Boaz Balimaka.

"We have the washing of hands, then we disinfect our legs and show, and allow one to pass".

Although no Ebola affair has been identified in Uganda, it may take up to three weeks for symptoms to develop.

The virus causes severe hemorrhagic fever that kills at least half of the infected people.

Even with frontier views, Butogo's chief councilor John Kandole says he is worried that someone with Ebola could pass.

"Someone who comes from the Congo, we do not shake him with his hands, just when he comes to buy anything, he buys and goes, and the money we sometimes fear to get."

The Ugandan Ministry of Health is stepping up preventive measures with the development of an Ebola experimental vaccine for healthcare and first-line workers along the border.

Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda's Health Minister, says the vaccines are also in a state of readiness.

"Today, we have 2,100 doses of vaccine in Uganda at National Medical Centers, and preparations are on high-end tools, including training for health workers to target."

An Ebola 2007 epidemic in Uganda, in the border town of Bundibugyo, infects 149 people, killed 37 and took several weeks to restrain.

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