Ebola scare: Masaka samples negative

Preliminary results from the samples taken from suspected Ebola victims in Masaka Regional Referral Hospital have tested negative, easing tension that had gripped health workers and residents in the area.

The hospital currently has six patients admitted with a strange illness that has symptoms similar to those of the deadly haemorrhagic fever - Ebola and Marburg diseases or Rift Valley fever.

Prior to admission of the patients, the district had registered four deaths with similar symptoms in one-and-half months. The deaths were reported in the parishes of Kasaka and Mazinga in Buwunga Sub-county.

But Dr Stuart Musisi, the district health officer, said they preferred to conduct expert medical tests on the samples taken from the victims to establish the actual type of infection bothering the community.

However, on Thursday, Dr Musisi said the preliminary results from tests taken to the Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe have so far tested negative to Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley fever viruses that had highly been suspected.

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African women have genes that prevent onset high blood pressure

African women possess a special gene that prevents onset of high blood pressure during pregnancy, a medical conditional called preeclampsia, according to findings of research by British and Ugandan scientists led by a Makerere University lecturer, Dr Annettee Nakimuli.
Dr Nakimuli, a senior lecturer at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology, School of Medicine, Makerere University discovered a KIR B centromeric gene, a version of the KIR2DS5 gene present among Africans but not the Europeans which protects pregnant women from pre-eclampsia.
The research also published last year in the peer reviewed journal of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, was done at Mulago hospital by a team of 19 Ugandan and British researchers.

The case- control of pre-eclampsia involved a total of 738 pregnant women at Mulago National Referral Hospital where 90 per cent of the sample were Bantu, the largest ethnic group, with small numbers of Luo, Nilo-Hamites, and other ethnic groups.
It was discovered from the research that the preventive gene did not exist among most women who have suffered from the condition. Those who have not suffered from the same condition were, however, found with the same gene.
"The findings, therefore, mean that those women without this type of gene are at higher risk of catching the condition compared to those mothers with the gene and therefore, the former can be given special attention when pregnant," Dr Nakimuli says.
Dr Nakimuli, however, notes that the research did not guarantee that women without the gene necessarily suffer from pr-eclampsia but said very few with the preventive gene would suffer from the same condition.

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Gender equality: ‘Engage men and boys in the fight’

Gender equality: ‘Engage men and boys in the fight’ Gender equality should not be a concern for only women and girls, but also for men and boys to be involved as allies and agents of change, experts say.

In his International Women’s Day message, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda Urban Andersson said male involvement is crucial.

 “Male engagement in achieving gender equality is critical. Uganda needs more male champions and role models of gender equality,” he said.

“Men and boys are needed as advocates and stakeholders to break the silence, raise their voices and take action for the achievement of a gender equal society.”

The envoy said Sweden welcomes and strongly supports President Yoweri Museveni’s launch of the “HeForShe” campaign in Uganda.

'HeForShe' is a global UN initiative in which men all over the world are being encouraged to speak out against the inequalities faced by women and girls.

‘Slow implementation of laws’

Andersson underlined that progress for all can only be achieved if gender equality is at the centre of all development initiatives and secured at all levels in society.

Read more: Gender equality: ‘Engage men and boys in the fight’
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