By Barbra Nalweyiso
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has claimed the life of another health worker as the country endeavors to contain the spread of the virus.
Ms. Rosemary Byabashaija, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner (RDC) confirmed the death, identifying the deceased as Dr. John Grace Walugembe who passed away in the late afternoon of Sunday, October 10, at around 10 pm.
“It’s true we have lost another health worker today late afternoon but it’s too sad to lose such important people in the community,” she told KFM on a phone call.
Dr. Walugembe, a laboratory technician at Mubende regional referral hospital and a proprietor of Life Care Medical clinic in Kirungi south division – Mubende municipality becomes the fifth health worker to succumb to Ebola ever since the outbreak was announced on Tuesday 20 last month after a probable case of Kenneth Ssendagi, an enrolled nurse at St Florence medical centre in Ngabano Madudu who passed on September 15.
The deadly virus has also claimed Ronald Agaba, 23, a health assistant in Kagadi district, Tanzanian trainee doctor Mohamad Ali, and Margaret Nabisubi an anesthetic officer at Mubende regional referral hospital.
On Monday, October 10, the Mubende task force together with a health surveillance team closed doctor Walugembe’s clinic for attending to a woman who later died at his clinic while presenting signs and symptoms of Ebola.
“We yesterday closed a clinic in Kirungi which has been attending to Ebola suspects. On Sunday, a woman died from that clinic bleeding from mouth and nose,” Byabasaija said on Tuesday last week.
Dr. Walugembe, who was picked from his clinic on Monday later tested positive for Ebola and was receiving treatment from Mubende regional referral hospital.
The death of health workers comes a day after President Museveni announced a lockdown in two districts of Mubende and Kassanda as a way of curbing the disease.
The case-fatality rate for the disease ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent, according to the World Health Organization. This is higher than that of Covid-19, whose case-fatality rate is at around 3 percent.
According to the Health Ministry, EVD is transmitted through contact with the blood, stool or fluids of an infected person and objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from an infected person.
One can also contract the disease through contact with blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as fruit bats and other wild animals.
The known symptoms of Ebola include high body temperatures, fatigue, chest pain, diarrhea, vomiting, unexplained bleeding, and yellowing of the eyes. Bleeding is usually a late presentation after the above symptoms, according to the Health ministry.