EBOLA: Stop politicizing Standard Operating Procedures

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On September 19th, 2022, Uganda confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (Sudan) and it has so far claimed 29 lives, including four medical doctors and 63 registered cases as of Monday, October 31st, 2022.

According to the Ministry of Health, over 1,000 people have been put in isolation.

In a bid to curtail the spread of Ebola in Uganda, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni placed Mubende and Kassanda districts under lockdown, where he instituted several SOPs, including prohibiting public transport, among others.

Some opposition leaders have since been bashing and strongly criticizing the lockdown claiming it’s a ploy to access illegal gold mines in the area.

This statement and claim by the opposition has been described as reckless, insensitive, unbelievable and against the interests of Uganda.

Just recently, we had a total lockdown of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, and these two districts were under lockdown along with others rich in minerals. Why didn’t the state conduct illegal mineral mining as claimed by the opposition?

Luttamaguzi Semakula (NUP) of Nakaseke South, recently, while on Baba TV station in Kampala during the famous Gangamuka extra, alleged that the Ebola epidemic is non-existent in Uganda.

He further claimed this is a strategy aimed at getting foreign aid since part of the health budget is foreign funded.

On October 19th, 2022, Joseph Kabuleta, a former presidential candidate, made a similar claim.

Many utterances have been made by different political actors, but what they forget is that just like COVID-19, Ebola Virus Disease is claiming the lives of our people irrespective of your political affiliation.

“The issue of Ebola is real and should not be politicized. We can fight and win against Ebola only if all Ugandans, irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, and political affiliation, stand together. Everyone must play their roles in by adhering to the standard operating procedures and seeking medical attention after suspecting any signs and symptoms, “Minister Jane Aceng said recently.

“Ebola patients have the least recovery chance, and thatโ€™s why every time we have an outbreak, the government handles it with all the available resources and thatโ€™s why the numbers of deaths are always minimal, otherwise it could have been worse,” Jackson Malinga, a public health expert, said.

“Let’s fight Ebola together as a nation and we shall return to politics later, but first we have to be alive. Ebola is here and Ebola is real, “Malinga noted.”

This is the third time Uganda has registered an Ebola outbreak after the one in 2007 that killed 37 people in Bundibugyo district.

The first Ebola case was reported 22 years ago in Northern Uganda’s Gulu district, which claimed over 224 people and infected 425.

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