Ugandan government faces serious backlash after the organization of a major marathon event. This was at a time in which the entire nation was closed and locked down for an uncertain amount of time.
The country has closed its schools and applied restrictions on international travel. The central districts of Mubende and Kassanda are placed under movement restriction and social distancing is widely in practice all over.
This was amidst the global health agencies outlining plans to support the Ugandan government from the face of the deadly virus.
The marathon was flagged off by Ugandan Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja on Sunday morning. It began at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala city center and attracted over 22,000 runners. Many high-profile persons took part in the event including Kampala Capital City Authority executive director Dorothy Kisaka and Health Ministry permanent secretary Diana Atwine. This was the 17th edition of the marathon.
MTN Marathon is an annual Premier sporting event in Uganda. It features over 100,000 competitors in 5 km, 10 km, and 20 km marathons. After the marathon, MTN would proceed to a charity of its choosing.
The marathon was launched on October 12, 2022, by its partners: Huawei, Stanbic bank, Vision Group, Rwenzori, NBS TV, and the Kampala Capital City Authority. In each marathon, there would be a theme and this year’s theme was “Run for Babies”.
This year’s proceeds shall be used for the upgradation of maternal and newborn services in four selected health facilities in several parts of Uganda. A few of the health facilities are Kaabong Health Centre III Karamoja region, Kachumbala Health Centre III in the Teso region, Kisenyi Health Centre III, and Kawaala Health Centre.
This year’s marathon featured an improved kit with the supply of a running belt that can carry both a water bottle and mobile phone. It was reported that it was a better experience.
According to the data derived from the World Health Organization (WHO) as of November 17, 2022, there are 141 confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease. It was caused by Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV) and there are a reported 55 deaths.
The health authorities in the Republic of Uganda confirmed the outbreak of Ebola disease caused by the Sudan ebolavirus earlier on September 20, 2022.
The current Ebola-affected areas are Kampala, Kassanda, Masaka, Mubende, and Wakiso districts in the Central Region, Bunyangabu, Kagadi, and Kyegegwa districts in the Western Region and Jinja District in the Eastern Region.
The British High Commission in Kampala has announced that the UK will provide £2.2m to WHO, UNICEF, and WFP to support Uganda’s response to the current Ebola outbreak. This is expected to support the government of Uganda’s present potentiality to the response of the current outbreak.
The WHO is appealing to the US for $88.2 million. The WHO said that it is to contribute to the reduction of mortality and morbidity associated with the current Ebola Disease outbreak in Uganda caused by SUDV and to prevent the spread of the virus to other districts of the country, as well as to neighboring countries, with minimum disruption of social and health systems.
The WHO said that in an international and domestic response it will facilitate coordination of assistance from WHO and partners to support country readiness and preparedness for the outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus.
It will also ensure and continuously monitor countries’ preparedness, operational readiness, and response capabilities. There are measures to prevent, rapidly detect, investigate, respond and control the outbreak of Sudan ebolavirus.
Ebola is a contagious, fatal virus affecting humans as well as other primates. It often leads to death while diagnosing and starting early care can save lives.