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DO THIS OR RISK CLOSURE: Janet Museveni Issues Tough Directives for Schools Over Ebola (See Details)

First lady and education minister Janet Kataaha Kainembabazi Museveni’s Ministry of Education and Sports has issued new directives to schools as government heightens measures to prevent the further spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Ugandan schools. 

The outbreak of Ebola was confirmed in Uganda last month. From the districts of Mubende and Kassanda, EVD has since spread to other districts such as Kyegegwa, Kagadi, Bunyangabu and the capital Kampala. The Ugandan capital city had recorded 15 confirmed cases and about 50 contacts were under monitoring at the Mulago isolation unit as of October 24.

By October 26, 45 patients were confirmed as active cases on admission out of the cumulative confirmed cases standing at 109. Up to 34 people had recovered from the deadly haemorrhagic disease caused by a virus while 30 had succumbed to the disease. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health was still following up on over 1,800 contacts.

This week, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed that six school-going children in the Rubaga Division of Kampala Capital City had tested positive for Ebola. These are said to have contracted the viral disease from an uncle from Kassanda District who later died of Ebola at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. Health workers are treating the six school children at the Entebbe Treatment Unit.

It is against this background that Janet Museveni’s Ministry of Education and Sports has issued directives to prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease in schools across the country, since such would be catastrophic given how congested schools, as other areas of mass concentration, are.

In a circular dated October 28, 2022, sent to all District Education Officers, all Heads of Institutions of Learning, the Ministry announced measures to be undertaken to prevent the spread of Ebola. In the same document issued by Ismael Mulindwa on behalf of Ketty Lamaro, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Education, the Ministry explained that closure of schools was yet to be recommended but institutions have been directed to beef up surveillance and limit access to school premises.

“As you are aware. the country is experiencing an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). This is a very serious disease that poses grave danger to us all if its spread is not effectively controlled. Institutions of learning are of particular concern because of the concentration of persons,” explained Mulindwa, in a circular copied to to all Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs), Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Education Secretaries of Faith Based Organizations, all Chairpersons of school Boards of Governors and School Management Committees.

“On the advice of MoH and the National Taskforce, institutions of learning have remained open. However, as per our earlier circular, the management of all learning institutions are required to take extra care to ensure effective Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) by strictly observing und implementing the Standard Operating Procedures provided by the Ministry of Health.”

The Ministry has now announced the immediate suspension of school visitation days (VDs) and suspension of leavers’ parties during Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Uganda. Banned for the rest of the third and final term of the 2022 academic year, the parties and VDs are expected to resume next year, depending on whether Ebola will have been kicked out of Uganda or not.

“Given that some positive cases have now been confirmed among learners from families of known contacts, it is necessary to strengthen the existing infection prevention measures at school level,” wrote Mulindwa. “In this regard, the Ministry of Education and Sports has with immediate effect suspended all school visitation days and leavers parties until the end of the current school term. Learners in boarding institutions should also be discouraged from making non-essential trips out of the school.”

Mulindwa also emphasized the need for the observance of standard operating procedures. He added: “Once again, I would like to call upon all of you to observe heightened vigilance and effective implementation of the SOPs in order to control the spread of the Ebola disease and save lives.”

There had been fears that Kampala would be placed under an Ebola Lockdown just like the districts of Kassanda and Mubende. Nearly two weeks ago, President Museveni declared a lockdown for Mubende and Kassanda, issuing 24 directives. (Read Them Here).

SAD! Tears as Ebola Kills Hospital Boss

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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