Mwanza conducts Marburg prevention awareness

MWANZA region has conducted public awareness on preventive measures against Marburg virus disease which has been reported in Kagera Region.

The regional authorities have also urged people to stop consuming meat from animals which associated to the origin of the virus especially have been because the virus originate from monkeys, bats and antelope.

The Mwanza Regional Health Public Education Coordinator, Mr Renard Mlyakado, said during the session which involved clerics, petty traders and fishermen among other groups that the infection can occur from animals to human beings in the case a person eats or touches the corpses of infected animals.

The Marburg virus is transmitted from one human to another through direct contact with body fluids from infected persons or contact with equipment and other materials contaminated with infectious blood or tissues, infected blood and body fluids of infected people.

“Unlike Covid 19 the Marburg never gets transmitted through air, said Mr Mlyakado while insisting people to avoid direct contact with dead bodies especially for the people whose cause of death has not been established.

He added that people should take all necessary precautionary measures including hand washing guidelines, using sanitizers and avoiding contact with patients who are bleeding, diarrhoeic or vomiting.

According to him, neither vaccine nor cure has been identified for Marburg virus so far thus patients will be treated basing on the symptoms.

The symptoms include fever, bleeding in various body parts and kidney failures.

He noted that people should not take medications without consulting health experts because sometime   such symptoms may not Marburg virus.

Mwanza Regional Medical Officer (RMO), Dr Thomas Rutachunzibwa,  said that  the region has set up isolation  rooms  for attending people who will be confirmed to have  Marburg virus  as efforts to prevent further spread.

He also said that facilities used for prevention during the Covid-19 outbreak are currently in use within and outside the region including Mwanza airport and the ports.

Dr Rutachunzibwa urged religious leaders to disseminate the knowledge over Marburg prevention to their followers. while fishermen to their colleagues because the first  Marburg victim in Kagera Region was   a fisherman from  Lake Victoria Islands.

“This is according to the statement issued by the central government. Religious leaders have got enough time to talk to your followers from this Friday to Sunday, which are worshiping days,” he said.

Director of Fishermen Union Organisation (FUO), Mr Juvenarius Matagili, advised health experts to regularly visit Lake Victoria beaches for public education, with regard that no way the fishermen can avoid direct contact due to the nature of their work.

“For instance, those in the same fishing boat have to touch on the same part of the vessel, during embarking and disembarking,” he said.

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