Uganda’s Health Ministry on Friday confirmed five Congolese people who had contact with a 9-year-old girl with Ebola were repatriated to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for proper follow-up, reported VOA News.
On Wednesday, the young girl traveled from DRC to the Ugandan district of Kasese with her mother to get medical care. She was identified at the port of entry after exhibiting symptoms, isolated, and transferred to the Ebola unit at a local hospital where a blood test confirmed Thursday that she was positive for the Ebola virus. The girl breathed her last on Friday.
The Uganda surveillance teams listed five people who had come into contact with the girl. Three shared the Ebola treatment unit with the girl, while two were tending to the patients, including the girl’s mother.
“All these five people, they are of Congolese origin,” Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Uganda’s state minister for primary health care. “They were transported in the same ambulance with the confirmed case from Mpondwe point of entry to Bwera hospital. Four of these contacts have been taken back to DRC for vaccination and for appropriate and effective follow-up.”
Kaducu said plans are underway to repatriate the girl’s body to DRC for safe and dignified burial upon her father’s request.
In related news, the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered 300 doses of Ebola vaccines for vaccination of all the people who came in contact with the Ebola-infected girl.
Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO’s country representative in Uganda, told reporters that the vaccines will be used to vaccinate possible contacts of the 9-year-old Congolese who succumbed to the deadly hemorrhagic fever at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit on Friday.
“We shall [also] examine who are more at risk. This includes the health workers and frontline health workers and those doing the screening at the border,” Woldemariam said.
The latest data released by the DRC government on Friday reported the number of people who died of Ebola in the country had crossed 2,000, while the number of confirmed and probable Ebola cases had reached above 3,000.