Uganda strengthens medical surveillance for Ebola



Uganda authorities started the screening of all people entering the country to detect any suspected Ebola patients, a senior official said here on Wednesday.

Uganda medical personnel strengthened surveillance on any potential Ebola carrier in its Entebbe International Airport as well as other borders, Asuman Lukwago, permanent secretary at ministry of health told Xinhua in an interview.

"Every person who passes our borders and is likely ill for any or other reason, we have to screen them. Even those who are normal, we have to get their history at least, like those from West Africa," said Lukwago.

"Our level of intervention depends highly on where you come from. We can have a deeper conversation when you come from those deeply affected countries, such as Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Guinea, and Liberia," he said.

The surveillance aimed to confine any Ebola case and minimize the contacts, Lukwago explained, adding "Because the more you get contacts without diagnosis, the more you get (Ebola) cases."

Uganda heightened its medical surveillance at borders with its neighboring countries, especially the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a central African country to the west of Uganda.

The hemorrhagic fever has killed some 31 people in the DRC, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest Ebola outbreaks in the history and the first in West Africa, affecting countries of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. It has now spread to Senegal.

At least 1,900 death and more than 3,500 cases were recorded across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO.