Egypt Orders Fresh Ebola Screening for Ugandan Students

2304 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
The Egyptian Government has ordered ten Ugandan students to undergo fresh Ebola and Marburg screening before they travel to the North African country for studies.

The Egyptian Government has ordered ten Ugandan students to undergo fresh Ebola and Marburg screening before they travel to the North African country for studies.

The students are Abdul Tamale, Umar Kassim, Mahd Muhammad Kabanda, Mustapha Sulayiman, and Fahd Kabunga. Others are Umar Musa, Nuuludin Masoudi, Abdul Okasi, Shaffic Hamad, and Siragi Abdul.

The students, all from Abdul Noor Islamic Center Masaka, recently won scholarship to go and study in Al-Azahar University in Cairo, Egypt. They were supposed to travel in October but up to now, they are still in Masaka after Government banned all travels over Ebola.

Although they underwent major medical examinations before receiving their visas to travel to Cairo, Egyptian Government has again ordered the students to undergo Ebola and Marburg screening before getting travel documents.

Uganda has been battling an outbreak of Ebola and Marburg over the last four months. At least 17 people died in Kibaale district following an outbreak of Ebola between June and September this year. A fresh outbreak was reported in Luweero early this month in which four people have reportedly been killed. At least 20 cases of Marburg were reported in Kabale and neighbouring districts since the disease was first reported in October this year. At least nine people died of the virus.

Sheikh Umar Sserunjogi, the Director of Noor Islamic Centre where the students have been studying, says they received an order from the Egyptian Embassy instructing them to screen the students before they travel. He says they have now communicated to the Health Ministry to undertake this screening exercise to allow the students travel.

According to Sserunjogi, the Ministry officials have indicated that the screening and immunization will take place next week.

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Sheikh Juma Ahmed, an Egyptian Government official attached to Al-Azahar University, who is in charge of these scholarships, has told Uganda Radio Network that the visas of all these students are ready but they need to be sure they are healthy before they are allowed in Egypt.

Juma explained that Ebola and Marburg viruses are not known in Egypt but because they have been reported in Uganda, the Egyptian Government doesn’t want to take risks.

Juma said that as soon as the students are cleared by the Health Ministry, the Egyptian Embassy will allow their travel.

Abdul Tamale, one of the students told Uganda Radio Network that he is going to pursue both Islamic studies and English. He has asked the Health Ministry to speed up the exercise to enable them travel before the year ends.

Every year, over 100 students go to Egypt for further studies.


About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.