There was a noticeable sense of fear amongst patients and health workers at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital last night, following the admission of a patient bearing symptoms similar to those of Ebola on Tuesday afternoon.
Godfrey Najina, a vendor in Kabale town who hails from Mitooma district was on Tuesday admitted at the referral hospital
Sister Christine Akurut, the hospital’s Principal Nursing Officer says samples have been picked from the patient and sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe for examination.
“The patient has been isolated in a separate room as we wait for the results from Entebbe. The patient, in his mid-20s, was admitted here and had almost all the symptoms of an Ebola patient. We have enough protective gear that we were left with in October 2012, when there was Marburg fever outbreak. Most of our staff are trained in handling Ebola and Marburg fevers and I think there is no need for patients and other health workers to get scared,” said Sister Akurut.
Caretakers of patients in other wards at the hospital expressed worry after the news circulated that there was a suspected Ebola patient who had been first admitted to the general ward.
Some of them said they were considering running away from the hospital for fear of contracting the deadly disease, but Sister Akurut insisted the hospital is well equipped for the task in case the Ebola disease was proved.
“Our challenge is that we do not have an isolation centre as a regional referral hospital in case the patient’s samples test positive to the disease. But we are on high alert to handle the patient in case he tests positive,” she added.
In October 2012, two people died at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital after testing positive for Marburg fever and in January 2013, the district was declared Marburg free by the then Health minister, Dr Christine Ondoa.