The Guardian: Misinformation hampers Uganda’s battle against new outbreak of Ebola

10 November, 2022

Extract below from a news item in The Guardian (UK). Read in full:


Despite 53 deaths, people are still in denial of the danger as doctors race to develop an effective vaccine against Sudan strain of disease

Standing a few metres away from the gathering at the Kassanda district offices in central Uganda, Sam Kassamba’s face is a picture of disbelief.

He has just figured out that the public meeting on Ebola he is attending is not about food distribution or when the 21-day lockdown imposed on Kassanda and Mubende districts will end.

“If not taken seriously, Ebola can wipe out a whole district,” Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda’s minister of health, tells the crowd. Yet Kassamba remains unmoved.

Not even the fact that 53 people have died of Ebola in Uganda and 136 have been infected since September seems to bother him. He then repeats one of the conspiracy theories making the rounds in the community. “I hear someone’s grandmother died of old age, and they said that it was Ebola. Lies,” he says...

Coming so soon after the Covid pandemic, the outbreak and lockdown have been met with fatigue, which has morphed into indifference...


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Working in official relations with WHO