The Ministry of Health has refuted media reports alleging that there is an Ebola outbreak in some parts of the country.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the acting Director-General Health services said that the false media reports have stopped many tourists from coming to Uganda yet the country is free from it.
Mwebesa, who was speaking during a Media Orientation about Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination and Cervical Cancer Prevention in Kampala on Thursday, said instead the media misinterpreted an alert exercise which was conducted last week to find out how health officers are prepared in case any Ebola outbreak in the country.
“A week ago, we had a drill to test our staff readiness in case there was an Ebola outbreak. So we created three artificial Ebola cases; two in Kasese and one at Entebbe Airport. We then informed the responsive teams that we have an Ebola case flying from Arua and the two in Kasese,” Mwebesa said.
According to Mwebesa, their intention was to find out whether MOH’s team is prepared to handle any Ebola outbreak according to the training tactics they had acquired.
“What worries me is that we informed the press about this drill because we never wanted to be misinterpreted. But still, some people went and published this as real. I would end by saying that we have no case of Ebola in Uganda and I would encourage tourists to come Uganda is safe,” said Mwebesa.“I will tell you this again. Since last year, to date we don’t have any single case of Ebola in this country. In the last one week, we have undergone alot of pressure because of the false information spreading all over the social media claiming we have Ebola. This is not true,” he said, adding that that bad reports have represented the country in the negative way leading to losses of foreign exchange.
“We have had over 600 alert cases since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo in August last year and all have tested negative. We have only one case of Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and we have been telling you about this. So what the press has been talking of Ebola in Entebbe, Kasese and in Jinja that is not true at all.”