The Museveni regime is again involved in its usual misinformation campaign by spreading fake news alleging that a possible Ebola infected lady fishmonger may have crossed to Rwanda from DRC and later to Uganda’s border market of Mpondwe where she died on 11 July 2019, due to Ebola virus.
It is important to note that Uganda’s Ministry of Health on 17 July 2019 issued a false statement spreading rumors that Rwanda could have been attacked by Ebola following the crossing of the lady from DRC to Rwanda and then to Uganda. For anyone that might not know, the Ugandan government has been using any opportunity to attack Rwanda by linking her with all sorts of evils.
Contrary to Uganda’s fake news, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday 19 July 2019 withdrew a report that said an Ebola patient may have entered Rwanda, suggesting the deadly virus could spread to that country for the first time.
The report which was originated by Uganda’s Health Ministry and published as daily updates by the WHO’s Africa office, detailed the case of a Congolese fishmonger who died of Ebola after going to Uganda and vomiting four times. Uganda’s report had indicated that the woman was suspected of going to the Congolese city of Goma and then into neighboring Rwanda while suffering from Ebola, which was totally false and misleading.
Sources within WHO indicate that reports by Uganda linking Rwanda to the Ebola patient were published without the knowledge of WHO headquarters in Geneva, and were later removed from her website after learning that it wasn’t true and the website where they were posted was also disabled.
The Great Lakes Eye has learnt from reliable sources that the reports linking Rwanda with Ebola were maliciously published by Uganda’s Ministry of Health purposely to dent Rwanda’s image and to scare away tourists from visiting Rwanda.
The Great Lakes Eye assesses that in the interest of good neighbourliness, the Ugandan Government should retract the fake news regarding Ebola spread to Rwanda or else Rwanda and the international community holds accountable Uganda’s Minister of Health for such lack of professionalism and breach of International Health Regulations.
In a yet other unfortunate development, Ugandan locals contacted by the Great Lakes Eye over the reported Ebola victim at Mpondwe revealed that the lady partly died due to reluctance by Ugandan authorities in the area who were slow to send gloves and chlorine solution to medics in the market area, and as a result, some residents refused to help trace the fishmonger’s contacts for fear of testing positive for Ebola and being isolated. With that level of carelessness in the Ugandan establishment over Ebola prevention, the virus risks spreading further.
On the contrary, The Great Lakes Eye has learnt from sources close to Rwanda’s Ministry of Health that following the outbreak of Ebola in neighbouring countries, Rwanda has introduced strict measures to deal with the epidemic, including deploying medics at the border with the DRC and checking up people to find out if they don’t have Ebola signs before they cross into the country.
It is important to note that three Ebola victims have so far died in Uganda since last month, while Rwanda has never had a recorded case of Ebola.