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By Godfrey Olukya 30-9-2012

Over 1000 Ugandan Muslims who paid their money to travel to Mecca for holy pilgrimage are stranded after the Saudi Arabia embassy denied them visas claiming that they could be infected by the deadly Ebola disease.

They have complained to their government and Saudi Arabia embassy in Kampala over what they referred to as mistreatment.

‘We do not have Ebola. The disease is no longer in Uganda. In fact even the last time it attacked some people it was over 400 kms away from Kampala city.’ lamented Swaibu Ikele, one of those who had planned to go to Mecca.

After getting Muslims’ complaints, Uganda’s ministry of health and the world health organization have petitioned the authorities in Saudi Arabia notifying them that Uganda will soon be declared Ebola free.

‘The petition follows numerous denials of passports to some Ugandan Muslim to Saudi Arabia for the holy pilgrimage over fears that they may carry the deadly Ebola’ said the health ministry’s statement.

Addressing the press in Kampala, the ministry of health officials led by the chairperson of the Ebola treatment national committee, Dr Winyi Kaboyo has confirmed that they have contained the disease and that the international community should not worry.

Kaboyo said,’For the last one and a half months not any case of Ebola has been reported in the country. On 4th October, next month, together with WHO we will will declare Uganda Ebola free at a function to be held in Kagadi government hospital.’

Kagadi hospital is located in the district where a few months ago Ebola killed over 20 people. It is 400 kms west of the capital Kampala.

The ministry of health and WHO announced an Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district on 28th July 2012. Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever which kills its victims within 48 hours if not treated.

The Post Ebola Surveillance countdown period is a prerequisite of the World Health Organization (WHO) which requires any affected country to monitor the Ebola situation for a period of 42 days after the last discharged patient case before finally declaring that the outbreak is over.

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