No Ebola in Uganda; Ministry of Health and World Health Organization confirm.

Please note that sections of this article will be updated from time to time… as I monitor new statements and updates. Kindly also keep an eye on any the updates.

CLICK HERE for the LATEST STATEMENT FROM THE UGANDA MINISTRY OF HEALTH reiterating that there is NO Ebola in Uganda.

STATEMENT FROM THE UGANDA MINISTRY OF HEALTH Dated 10th April 2019

“Of course I love to write, Yes, I enjoy the use of the pen and notebook. Guess what!? The new Uganda Tourism Directory is out and therein is a sweet African bedtime story by yours truly.

Maybe you read my article in the latest edition of the Voyages Afrique magazine a few months ago. Well if you’ve never read a thing by me; let this be the only piece you read to the end. Oh and please share it, if you mind not.”

First things first, Thank You!

Thanks for your care, compassion, love, empathy, wish I could thank you enough for all your “fellow feelings”.

Canadian, British, American, Mexican, Japanese, Indian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, Chinese, Austrian, my friends from Italy, Armenia, California; oh sorry that’s not a country. Perhaps I should leave a list of all the countries at the end of this blog. Boy, do I have friends around the world!

Yes, I joyfully got all your messages and I appreciate all the positive wishes and prayers, you guys rock my world!

The good news is this. I, my family, friends and about 38 million other Ugandans are safe and extremely far from harm’s way. Uganda is Ebola free; there is no ebola in Uganda, and so are several other East African countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania are all Ebola free).

Uganda is Ebola Free in 2018
Photo by Guma Alex

Have you ever read an article on BBC, CNN or that popular Al Jazeera website about a topic like “Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker had ‘a good meeting”? I mean have you ever read a newspaper exposé of that kind without some preconceived perception about the person of the current president of the United States? Crazy thought, huh?

I struggle a lot with it myself; I mean the need to clear my mind of what my favorite media giant could have already ditched out in finely written tabloids using dark-colored crayons.

Media often blows things out of perspective.

Is Idi Amin Alive?

Oh here’s something I laugh about whenever I get that question asked by a few globe-trotter-friends of mine. I know you’ll like this. “Is Idi Amin still your president?”, they usually ask.

Maybe you would read an article on “Idi Amin, a great African leader” with a little bit of prejudice, wouldn’t you? But let’s get over it! The dude died years ago. Actually, to be exact, it’s been fifteen straight years since his demise. He had his flaws but a good side too. May he Rest in Peace!

Idi Amin is dead. He is no longer the president of Uganda

I tell you, It’s quite hard to keep up with the facts of what is happening everywhere around the world however much we wish we could. That reminds us that it’s an imperfect world everywhere. And by everywhere I mean starting from right where we live, our little-small towns, even just in our neighborhoods. And then there is the good side that we would have loved to always speak about, but sadly it’s titles like “things fall apart” that continually lure our senses.

The mistake we often make is becoming self-proclaimed experts of international relations, like Idi Amin Dada, self-proclaimed himself “the conqueror of the British empire”.

Where we fault is in setting stereotypes based on stuff we merely read or heard about in the press. In the end, we miss the candy, in the end, we give up on our pre-planned appointments, we even end up canceling or deferring our holidays to awesome places like East Africa. Imagine what we miss out on! Checkout these video highlights of Uganda by Drink Tea Travel.

Anyways let’s say it as it is…

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, miles away from Uganda. Uganda remains Ebola free

You probably stumbled upon this scoop while looking to confirm whether there is or isn’t an Ebola outbreak in Uganda. I guess you might be planning a safari with one of the tour companies to this ‘gobsmackingly-gorgeous’ continent. Let me fill you in with some detail. Good news: there is no Ebola in Uganda.

Watch this hilarious video by Trevor Noah – “In Contact With Ebola”.

Ebola in DR Congo

About a month ago an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus was pronounced in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more than 100 kilometers from the Ugandan border; very unfortunate news for our brothers and sisters in DRC (the second largest country in Africa actually).

But the awesome news is that Uganda is free of Ebola. There has been no known case of the deadly hemorrhagic fever here. There is no Ebola in Uganda; the country is Ebola-free and still safe to visit.

The last time Uganda faced Ebola. And how Uganda continues to remain free of Ebola

A recent wildlife shot I took during my trip to Murchison Falls National Park

Following the confirmation of the outbreak in the Magina Zone of Mabalako (North Kivu) in the DR Congo, Uganda’s Health Ministry tasked their relief teams to intensify surveillance against the deadly disease; and from past threats, I can’t imagine a country as medically, economically, and technologically prepared and experienced in similar operations as Uganda is in fighting and crushing Ebola.

Actually following a suspected weird disease in Mubende, a district in Uganda, the Minister of Health issued a statement deterring the allegations that the country had an Ebola outbreak.

With the agility of the Ministry in charge of health in Uganda, I am beyond certain that the outbreak in DR Congo this time round is being handled much differently than what happened between 2014 and 2016 when the deadly virus first hit and shook the entire African continent.

Impact on business in the past. 

2015 in particular, was around the time that I was completing my final year at the university and hopes of a dream job in the leisure and hospitality industry began to dwindle as blanket cancellations ensued and stung African economies deep and hard. This was the time when the consequences of the outbreak squeezed tour companies and hotels the most.

Many businesses closed shop, many lost safari bookings in hundreds, thousands and millions of dollars, many had to layoff staff; it was literally a very dark time for Africa as many people died (RIP), and families lost loved ones; a loathed time as friends lost dear ones.

But as the olden saying goes “great losses are great lessons”. What Uganda is doing.

That episode lectured countless lessons for Uganda and the country’s response action to epidemics has since improved to first-class status today, each time reports of epidemics of such a manner befall.

Precaution has since been beefed-up, health-entry-screening-machines were purchased and response teams dispatched adding to the military defense deployments along the borders to keep potential threats and intruders out. Hospitals and health centers close to the border crossing points as well as those around the country have been preventatively restocked with additional necessary drugs.

Tourists ride a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) in Uganda
Backpackers riding a boda boda in Uganda

Other key deterrent activities imployed by the Health Ministry in Uganda include public health risk mapping to assess movement patterns, enhanced surveillance, and hand washing at points of entry in high-risk districts, alerting other districts about the need for enhanced surveillance, and assessing preparedness in high-risk districts and providing around-the-clock-care. All of thee have helped to maintain no Ebola in Uganda.

Uganda is not only one of the few countries in the world with medics who are most experienced in similar tasks, but the country also has in the recent past been applauded by the World Health Organization (WHO) for having shared its expertise and medics with other countries in times of similar distress, and WHO continues to pledge its support to Uganda. Read the statement by the World Health Organization on the preparedness of Uganda as of 6th August 2018.

Do I sound like I am speaking too nicely of Uganda? Read this article by DW on How Uganda conquered previous Ebola outbreaks.

Oh yes the riots in the town

Now that Ebola is out of frame, let’s talk about the minor riots. About 2 weeks ago, there were highly-contested elections in Arua, a municipality in northern Uganda; in which a candidate from the opposition side won the elections to become the area’s new Member of Parliament (MP)

Leading to the casting of ballots, there had been an alleged stoning of the president’s convoy by unidentified persons (to be confirmed) which led to the incarceration of some opposition leaders whose supporters launched a series of strikes in some towns in the country (including Kampala the capital city) demanding for their release.

As I write sipping on a warm coffee, the opposition MPs were granted bail. They will however return to court to respond to charges laid against them; but the general sense of peace has since returned to normalcy and people including myself are going by their usual business. The police is ensuring law and order prevails in the country.

Let’s put things straight. Africa is a continent, not a country? 

Africa is a continent not a country

Africa is a continent (one of the largest continents to be exact) covering a total land mass of 30.37 million sqkm divided into 54 countries, and a combined population of about 1.2 billion people.

It takes a basic understanding of geography for one not to flee the state of Chicago because there was a messy mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida this week or for someone to escape the state of Oregon because a gunman opened fire on a high school in Texas.

I remember once upon a time being in Florida as a young lad in the September of 2011 when 9/11 occurred. We watched the terrifying news; well, we were extremely lucky to have been in Florida and not in New York. May the souls of the departed Rest in everlasting Peace. But don’t people still visit New York city?

Tourists will visit the UK even if it suffered more terror-based-deaths than any other country in Europe last year. People still go to their local town restaurant in the US for a cheese burger with fries despite news that the food might be contaminated with a coliform bacterium.

Just come have a good time, already!

Tourist in Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda
Kidepo Valley National Park. Photo by www.drinkteatravel.com

Just like the American embassy wrote on 7th August 2018, there is no Ebola in Uganda and will maintain an enhanced surveillance and response systems to deal comprehensively with the deadly virus. You can read the full Ebola response statement on the US Embassy In Uganda Website. Uganda is also politically safe and secure and business continues to thrive and travellers continue to flock the country.

Come enjoy your holiday, come see the gorillas, come sail on the Nile River, see the Big Five including the tree climbing lions, the friendly people or just come to relax and take in the views. Come join the league of those who get to write unforgettable memories of a safari in Uganda. You can always thank me later.

Until next time I remain yours truly…

Written by 

My old folks call me Jonathan Benaiah but I prefer to go by as “The Ugandan Tourist“. I love to travel, write, take photos (of nature mostly). Ask me my best kind of trips and I'll tell you that it's those moments which allow me enough time in the African bush.