A Ugandan doctor serving in Liberia has been killed by Ebola. Dr Samuel Muhumuza Mutooro passed away on Tuesday afternoon at St F. Kennedy Medical Center Cholera Unit were he was being treated.
Dr Muhumuza was surgical doctor assigned at the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town where he had been working for three years.
Health workers in Liberia are at risk for the deadly virus and many have expressed fear that they might come in direct contact with an Ebola patient without even realizing it.
Dr Muhumuza is the fourth death among health workers to die from Ebola. A physician assistant from the Tandapolie clinic in Caldwell was recently confirmed dead from the disease.
Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, Assistant Minister for Curative Services at the ministry of health has called on health workers across the country to take universal precaution to protect them against the disease.
“We call it the barrier netting methods; that is, you must wear gloves during examination of a patient, even if they were not Ebola,” he told FrontPageAfrica.
“What we call infection control in health facilities should be adhered to. So we are calling on health workers across the country, including private and public facilities; clinics and everywhere, to ensure at the highest standard and level to protect themselves.”
There have been 759 confirmed or suspected cases of the haemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday, with 467 people dead.
“This makes the ongoing Ebola outbreak the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread,” the WHO said in a statement announcing a two-day conference in Ghana to be attended by 11 West African health ministers.
“Decisions taken at this meeting will be critical in addressing the current and future outbreaks,” it said.
Dr Muhumuza was buried in Liberia on Wednesday.
Since West Africa’s first ever epidemic of the deadly and highly contagious fever broke out in Guinea in January, the WHO has sent in more than 150 experts to help tackle the regional crisis.
Despite the efforts of the UN agency and other health workers, there has been a “significant increase” in the rate of new cases and deaths in recent weeks, the WHO said.