Ebola Outbreak: Uganda Government declares no handshake Campaign

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Ruth-Acheng addressing the media in Kampala.

By: Timothy Sibasi

In the wake of a stalling fight against the Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the far western districts of Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo a hot spot of the spreading Ebola virus to Uganda, the Uganda government has declared a no handshake campaign to minimize on the risk of Ebola infections in the high risk areas.

The minister of health in Uganda, Dr. Ruth Aceng says the Ministry of Health has mapped movements of all Congolese entering and their destinations in Uganda for Ugandans to avoid handshakes with them until the declared window period is done.

An isolation mitigation measure in the fight against the wild fire spreading Ebola fever in Uganda code named “No Handshake” has been declared, however, the declaration stopping Ugandans to handshake with majorly people of Congo origin in some circles is meeting stiff resistance and concerns.

 “Arguing everyone to avoid handshaking, people have been telling me why a you telling the entire nation to avoid handshaking right honorable speaker as I said before we have been mapping porous border points especially those in the West, when the Congolese come in they move.” Say minister Aceng

In the implementation exercise of this no handshake campaign the country’s healthy sector has mapped movements and destinations of Congolese in Uganda to watch out,  “We have mapped all their movement into Kampala and all the other districts, they move everywhere they are everywhere.” Aceng noted

The majority of Congolese living in Uganda, are Catholics and one of the destination points earmarked for a watch out by the ministry of health are areas of worship according to minister Ruth Aceng,  “On Sunday I was in may church and the group of them were there and when I say please don’t shake hands am not being mean, am trying as much as possible to have you protected.”

The Uganda government is pushing for limited mass gathering in this fight against Ebola in Uganda that has caused an eminent scare and loss of lives.

 “Let’s avoid hugging, have limited mass gathering especially in the high risk districts in the 20 districts surrounding the borders but we also continue to appeal to you to observe hygiene and sanitation, washing hands with water is extremely helpful because you reduce the quantity of the virus and then you leave the body to respond.” said Aceng

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