President Yoweri Museveni has an interesting take to the fight against the Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa, and the related Marburg Virus that claimed a Ugandan health worker recently.
“Some people eat monkeys. These are our relatives, they are our cousins. How do you eat your relative?” President Museveni said causing thunderous laughter at the 52nd Independence Anniversary celebrations held at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds earlier today.
Primates like monkeys are some of the carriers of the Ebola virus.
Museveni said the Mengo Hospital radiographer who succumbed to Marburg virus last week, could either have been exposed to the virus through carelessness (not wearing gloves) while carrying out his duties or he could have eaten meat from primates, because he hails from an area that is near Congo. Some of the Congolese people eat monkeys.
Don’t shake hands or hug:
According to President Museveni, the surest way to avoid Ebola is by rejecting handshakes. “When I meet leaders from West Africa, I just wave at them from a far … I just tell them ka jambo,” he said.
“At the recent heads of African states summit, leaders were shaking hands and hugging … I said what is this,” President Museveni said.
“Unlike flu that is airborne, Ebola is spread through contact with an infected person, so don’t shake hands or hug,” he advised.
And he had more for the malwa drinkers. “Those pipes you share around a malwa pot could kill you because someone has left their saliva on them.”
The last Marburg outbreak in Uganda was in 2012 and it claimed 10 people.
According to the World Health Organisation, Ebola has so far claimed 3,879 people since the latest outbreak mid this year. The most hit people are in Sierra Leone, with other cases in, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and the United States of America.