By John Kibirige
The Uganda government has called upon the government of Saudi Arabia to accept Uganda’s Muslim pilgrims to Mecca and Medina this year .Uganda’s call comes after the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation declared Uganda Ebola free.
Saudi Arabian authorities had refused to issue visas to Ugandan Muslim pilgrims on the basis that the country is not yet Ebola-free.Plans by medical officials to declare Kibale District Ebola-free have been pushed to October 4 ,2012 following advice from the World Health Organisation.
Ms Rukia Nakamatte on Thursday said that Uganda has successfully completed the 42 days of post surveillance countdown.
In a statement yesterday, the state minister for Health in-charge of Primary Health care, Ms Sarah Opendi, said more than 400 contact cases of Ebola were listed and followed up and they all completed the 21 days necessary for monitoring. “This means they did not contract the disease and were presumed free from the Ebola disease,” she noted.
Information from the Ministry of Health shows that 104 laboratory specimens were collected and tested at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, Entebbe. Of these, 11 were confirmed to have the Ebola virus while 17 patients were confirmed to have died of the deadly fever.
Nakamatte said that the ministry is set to communicate to the visa offices of Saudi Arabia and all concerned officials to allow Ugandans to Mecca and Medina.