By John Ikani
The World Health Organization (WHO) says 23 deaths had occurred in three districts of central Uganda since an outbreak of Ebola virus was declared last week.
According to the global health body, there have been 36 Ebola cases in Uganda – 18 confirmed and 18 probable cases – with 23 deaths recorded in three districts of central Uganda, of which five were confirmed cases.
Uganda has had at least three previous outbreaks of Ebola, the deadliest being in 2000 that killed hundreds, including the lead treatment officer Dr Matthew Lukwiya.
The present outbreak is the first in Uganda since 2012. It is caused by the Sudan strain of the disease, for which there are no licensed vaccines.
On Monday, Uganda denied reports of a strike by medical staff at the Mubende hospital.
Thirty-four trainee medical staff said they were refusing to work and accused the government of not providing them with appropriate safety kits.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, which neighbours Uganda to the west, is currently battling an outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, which causes a deadly haemorrhagic fever.
According to the World Health Organization, the disease is transmitted to people from animals and spreads through human-to-human infection.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said action has been taken to quickly to detect the virus and halt the spread of infections.