KOBOKO. Local residents of Isoko cell, West division of Koboko municipality have expressed worry over possible Ebola outbreak in their area if proper sensitization against the disease is not done to create awareness among the people.

The residents, through their recently elected local council one chairman, Mr James Data, said their village lies at the border and that the frequent interaction between the Ugandans and the Congolese in area is a concern to them.

"There is need for awareness creation by the top leaders to inform people because we have many businessmen from the two countries who carry out their businesses in areas like Duruba in interior of Eastern DRC that is nearer to areas suspected to have Ebola outbreak and towns in West Nile. This is on top of cross border, locals who cross the two countries daily "Data stressed.

Several residents in Koboko Municipality expressed ignorance about presence of Ebola out in Democratic Republic of Congo and its possible signs and symptoms.

"In most markets and public places I move to in areas of Odumoni (a neighbouring community in DRC), there are public notices put to discourage people from greeting each other and Jik detergent put for people to wash hands" Flavia Driciru, a local vegetable dealer from Isoko cell who has some knowledge about the outbreak narrates to West Nile Web.

Mr Data disclosed that it is a common cultural practice by the people in these cross-border communities of Uganda and DRC that people cannot do without greeting or embracing each other as a sign of affection.

The LC1 was speaking during the launch of cross border market last week at Birijaku border post in Koboko municipality, an area where Congolese refugees are received before being taken to Lobule Refugee settlement in Koboko district.

The medical Superintendent of Koboko hospital, Dr Denis Oloya told WNW that there has been no sign of Ebola detected in the hospital so far.

"Koboko being at the border with DRC and South Sudan, it is prone to importing such dangerous diseases across the border. As a hospital at this location, we are much alert to signs and symptoms that may suggest Ebola" Dr Oloya noted, adding that the staff at the health facility have been trained to detect and report Ebola cases to the district and Uganda's ministry of health.

Ebola spreads through direct physical contact with body fluids such as blood, saliva, faeces, vomit, urine and sweat of a person infected with Ebola and direct physical contact with bodies of persons who died from Ebola.

Ebola signs and symptoms include, bleeding through the eyes, nose, gums, ears and other private parts. Vomiting blood, headache, joint and muscle pain and reduced passing of urine are some of the symptoms.

According to World health organisation as per 8th of July 2018, already a total of 44 cases have been reported in North Kivu province of Eastern DRC, of which 17 cases have been confirmed in the region.

Some few weeks ago, ministry of Public health of DRC launched Ebola vaccination starting with high risk population in North Kivu which started with health workers who had contact with the confirmed Ebola deaths.

Koboko, Maracha, Arua, Zombo and Nebbi districts from West Nile region of Uganda share Uganda's international border with DRC.