President Museveni announced Uganda is free of Ebola now. This has come after three months when Uganda has been battling with the deadly virus that hit the country.
About three months back, the Uganda government through the ministry of health announced the outbreak of Ebola. The epidemic killed 56 people and infected 142 others, prompting the government to lock down two districts of Mubende and Kassanda, the epicenters of the virus.
“We have defeated Ebola. We have now overcome Ebola. Why? Because people have listened. Simple. I want to thank the medical staff. When we are giving medals, we shall have to give medical staff because, in this war of Corona [virus] and Ebola, they are always on the frontline,” the President said during his national address.
According to World Health Organization guidelines, 42 days have to elapse without any person contracting Ebola in an area for it to be declared free of the disease.
On Saturday, the government lifted the lockdown on the two most affected districts after spending several days without getting any Ebola patients.
Mr. Museveni said the death toll due to Ebola in Uganda wasn’t as bad as it was in other countries such as Sierra Leone where thousands were killed in more than two years.
Despite defeating Ebola, the President said the country is now faced with a rise in malaria cases in the country that has left more than 2,489 dead in 10 months. A total of 2,773 people succumbed to the disease last year.
“Malaria is also becoming a problem. The people dying from malaria are as many as those that died from Covid-19,” Mr. Museveni said.
Malaria is transmitted by the anopheles mosquito after biting an infected person and biting another.
The President said 14.3 million Ugandans have been infected with malaria since the year began, compared to 11.3 million people, who suffered from the disease in 2021.
He said 75 districts have high malaria cases led by Yumbe, Tororo, Adjumani, Kamuli, and Agago. Kampala City and Wakiso District are also among the areas with high malaria cases.
He attributed that rise in malaria cases to poor use of protective measures such as sleeping under treated mosquito nets, clearing bushes around homes, and leaving stagnant water near residences.
The government gave out more than 21 million treated mosquito nets to homes across the country.
“One of the main factors is the poor use of protective measures such as mosquito nets, which the government routinely distributes. However, only 70 of the population consistently sleeps under mosquito nets. Really, what can we do?” he wondered.