Via the Daily Monitor: Living in an Ebola hit area. Excerpt:
I hail from Kagadi town council in Kibaale District. My home is about a kilometre away from Kagadi Hospital where more than 20 Ebola patients have been quarantined. Before I rise up from bed every morning, I have to call my parents and relatives to ascertain whether they are fine. They live in one of the areas where Ebola cases have been confirmed.
“I’m fine my son. But we are worried. We need your prayers,” my mother says.
Even in Hoima where I am based, I don’t feel safe simply because people travel regularly from Kibaale to Hoima and vice versa. The highly contagious disease which started from Nyanswiga village in Nyamarunda Sub County has since spread to other sub counties of Muhorro, Bwikara, Burora, Kagadi, Kyaterekera and Mugarama.
The outbreak has seen changes in the social activities of the area. Travel in the area is mainly by taxis which are often overloaded but this is no more. There are fewer taxis are on the road. The main means of transport now are boda bodas.
“Taxis these days do not stop to pick any passenger in our sub county. We now have to use either bicycles or motorcycles,” Robert Kyamanywa, the Chief Executive Director of Rural People in Action for Development who has shifted his family from the sub county to his ancestral home in Birembo Sub County, said.
Those who prefer drinking locally brewed alcohol, kwete and amarwa usually do so in pots and friends converge to sip it using local drinking tubes (locally called telephoning) but this has ceased for fear of contracting the disease.
Kibaale District chairman, George Namyaka has indefinitely banned markets as a precaution to minimise more infections. The district has also indefinitely closed schools in the counties of Buyaga east, Buyaga west and Buyanja.
The district education officer, John Kyaboona said the closure is a precautionary measure to prevent a possibility of massive infections given the fact that Ebola is highly infectious. He said over 220 private and government aided primary and secondary schools will remain closed until advised otherwise by health experts.