There’s an outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo and we should all be concerned

There’s an ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has led to 1,400 deaths so far. This has consequently led to the first Ebola case reported in Uganda, where a five-year-old boy arrived the country after crossing from the DRC. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, the boy was diagnosed of the virus along with his grandmother and three-year-old sibling and died in an isolation unit.

The first case of Ebola was reported last August, and the outbreak is the second-largest in the history of the disease with a significant spike in new cases in recent weeks. Uganda and the DRC are neighbouring countries, and it’s only a matter of time before Uganda becomes a hot zone for the virus. Frankly, I’m a little bit on the edge, and maybe it’s because I just finished watching the HBO show Chernobyl based on the Chernobyl nuclear plant catastrophe that led to a staggering number of deaths and cancer incidences.

In Uganda, mass gatherings including market days and prayers have been cancelled. Market days in the town of Kasese attracts an estimated 20,000 people at the border area. It’s amazing that Uganda is taking measures to combat the spread of Ebola while the DRC is seemingly doing nothing. Furthermore, it’s never too early to start re-sensitising Nigerians about Ebola and practicing good hygiene.

We can still remember Nigeria’s reported case of Ebola, brought in by the Liberian Patrick Sawyer when he flew into Lagos, and how it was contained by Dr. Stella Adadevoh who lost her life in the process. We can still remember the mass panic and hysteria. A such, our borders, checkpoints and airports need to be rigorously screened to ensure the virus is kept out. Our government needs to be more pro-active, if we are going to be able to beat Ebola again.

 

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