By Our Reporter
The Ministry of Health has issued a press statement stopping Private Health Facilities from testing for Ebola and or managing Ebola patients.
In the statement issued this morning, 7th November, 2022 and signed by the Director General Health Services, Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa, private health facilities have been faulted for using Ebola Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) which the Ministry says is not only illegal but dangerous.
“This practice is illegal and dangerous because it exposes the general public and the Health workers to the risk of infection,” Dr. Mwebase said before adding that, “World Health Organization has never approved the use of RDTs for the confirmation of Ebola disease.”
The ministry of health is using the WHO approved PCR method of testing. PCR means polymerase chain reaction. It’s a test to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you have the virus at the time of the test.
The statement also warns the general public against running to private health facilities for testing of and treatment of Ebola saying these services are provided for by only government institutions and free of charge.
The testing of Ebola according to the statement is only done at Uganda Virus Institute, Central Public Health Laboratory and the mobile Lab in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.
“This press release serves to inform the general public that Ebola testing and patient management are restricted to the segmented government facilities,” reads the statement in part.
The Ministry of Health says private health facilities do not have the required safety equipment and containment measures and can therefore not handle the highly infectious Ebola moreover with a high death rate.