From HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – THE disappearance of a man wanted for monitoring is stalling efforts to contain an outbreak of the deadly Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) in Uganda.
He is a brother to two victims that have died of the disease, including a 50-year-old woman whom she transported to the hospital and took the body back home for burial.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Rapid Response team from the country office has reached Kween district east of Uganda, the epicentre of the outbreak but the disappearance of the man is cause for concern.
“The major challenge for the team has been locating a high risk suspected case, a brother to the confirmed case disappeared on learning that he was needed for monitoring,” said Benjamin Sensasi, WHO Uganda spokesman. “Teams are actively searching for him with assistance for family and community members and the authorities,” he added.
Sansasi also said there was also the challenge of the two-year-old child who died in hospital and had MVD-like signs and symptoms but has since been confirmed not to be linked to the confirmed or suspected case. Another major challenge has been accessing communities at risk due to the terrain and poor road network worsened by the seasonal rains.
The WHO team has listed 47 contacts that are being monitored and followed up daily for support and care should they develop sign and symptoms. MVD resembles Ebola in terms of transmission and presentation. There are fears the disease will spread to neighbouring Kenya, where authorities are on high alert.