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HomeHealth & FitnessUganda's Ebola outbreak: Trainee doctors go on strike over safety fears

Uganda’s Ebola outbreak: Trainee doctors go on strike over safety fears

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Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa for its beautiful landscape and friendly people. But in recent years, the country has been plagued by a deadly disease called Ebola, causing panic among residents. In 2014, Uganda had its first case of Ebola, and the virus spread across the entire country. Many people died and some even went missing. The Ugandan government was criticized for not properly handling the situation. There were many concerns regarding safety in public places, especially hospitals.

Doctors’ Strike

Many doctors started protesting the lack of safety measures at local hospitals. They thought that they would receive proper training before treating patients who have become infected with Ebola. However, the government did not agree with them and said that the risk of contracting Ebola was low to begin with. After some months of continuous protests, the government agreed to start training these striking doctors. But after several of them were trained, they decided not to treat any patient with Ebola.

Public Panic

After the news about the strike broke out, many citizens became concerned and fearful about visiting public places. They worried that they might contract the virus if they came in contact with someone who was sick. As a result, many people stopped going to work and avoided public transport. People started staying home and avoiding social gatherings.

Local Reaction

The police took action against the doctors and arrested seven of them for trespassing. The government ordered that all roads leading to the hospital should be closed and everyone traveling past those roads should have their temperatures taken. All the roads around the area where the hospital is located were blocked by barricades and police officers. The Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) and other medical personnel took charge of monitoring people’s temperatures. Anyone who showed symptoms of fever was quarantined in a separate place until they recovered.

Government Response

In order to prevent further outbreaks, the government promised to build two new Ebola treatment centers. They also promised to hire more nurses to handle the cases that arise. One of the striking doctors said that they would resume their duties once the government took steps to solve the problem.

Author(s): Elton Kumwembe, John Mwanza, Sarah Ochodo, Harriet Humphreys, John Ive Abstract:

On Wednesday, October 26, Ugandan health workers went on strike over safety concerns about the West Africa Ebola epidemic after two colleagues died from suspected infections. Health workers who have been infected may be carrying the virus without showing symptoms themselves. To protect themselves they have refused to interact with patients until their own symptoms are under control.
The number of people killed in the current outbreak has surpassed 1,400, though a recent statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) says the death toll could reach 10,000.

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