Archive for December 5th, 2007

December 5, 2007

Bundibugyo Ebola Update

Two more medical workers have been killed in the latest Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Rose Bulindigya, a Senior Nursing Officer and Joshua Kule, a Clinical Officer at Bundibugyo Hospital died early this morning.  Their deaths bring to three the number of medical officers killed by Ebola in the past 24 hours. 

Samuel Kazinga, the chairperson of the Bundibugyo Ebola Taskforce, has said Rose Bulindigya, Joshua Kule and Dr. Jonah Kule, who passed away yesterday evening, are to receive national honors and to be buried at a special heroes ground at Bundibugyo Hospital.

December 5, 2007

In Honor of the Ebola Heroes

Paradox Uganda reports today of another tragic Ebola fatality.

Dr. Jonah Kule of the International Air Ambulance died on Tuesday evening at Mulago Hospital.  He contracted Ebola while treating patients at Bundibugyo Hospital last week. It is seems we have not learned the lessons from the last Ebola outbreak in Gulu in 2000. 

How many more John Kules and Matthew Lukwiyas does Uganda need to have before the Government begins to pay more attention to prevention of disease and protection of its vital medical staff? 

Perhaps former Ugandan Vice President Specioza Wandira was right when in an address at Cornell University last month she said ministries of health in Africa should be re-baptized ‘Ministries of Diseases’ because they are preoccupied with treating disease.  According to the former VP health ministries in Africa should put more energy and resources into addressing the issues that create disease.  

Unfortunately turning that ideal into practice is not a reality we will see soon. Wandira aptly noted that the achieving this goal is an up hill task because prevention requires patience and intersects with numerous social issues.

Despite this fact and the numerous challenges facing Uganda’s healthcare system, it is an inspiration that there are still medical workers willing to risk it all, laboring tirelessly with limited supplies, equipment and medicine to contain the Ebola epidemic.  

Raise your glasses to all medical workers at the frontline of the Ebola fight.  Raise your glasses to Dr. Jonah Kule, a true Ugandan hero.

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