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Tanzanian doctor who succumbed to Ebola buried in Uganda

The Ebola burial team carrying Dr Ali's body to the grave

The Ebola burial team carrying Dr Ali's body to the grave

Mohammed Ali, the Tanzanian doctor who died of Ebola on Saturday morning at Fort Portal Regional Referral hospital, has been buried in Uganda at a public cemetery in Bukwali Central Division, Fort Portal town.

Dr Ali was one of six medical workers who became infected while treating Ebola patients at Mubende Regional Referral hospital and were transferred to Fort Portal on Wednesday last week for better treatment and management. Ali was studying for a master's degree in surgery at Kampala International University (KIU).

According to Fort Portal resident city commissioner Angalia Godwin Kasigwa, it was agreed that the medic be buried in Uganda due to safety and precautionary measures after bilateral consultations between Uganda and the Embassy of Tanzania in Uganda.

Dr Alex Adaku, the director of the Fort Portal hospital, stated that the hospital is currently managing six cases of infected health workers, all of which came from Mubende last week. One of the cases involves a medical student who worked at Mubende hospital and a contact to the deceased. The contact, who is from the Bunyangabu district, took himself to Fort Portal hospital on Friday and informed medics that he had Ebola symptoms such as fever and headache. He was immediately isolated and blood samples collected and sent to the Uganda Virus Research Institute, where the results turned out positive.

Dr Ali's grave was dug in the cemetery in the morning, and at about 11:30 am. His body wrapped in body bags was picked from the mortuary by a team of seven members on the Ebola task force burial team - all donned in full personal protective gear including coveralls, gloves, gumboots, googles, aprons, An95 masks. 

The body was transported in a double cabin pickup to the burial grounds, two other members followed the pickup, fumigating everywhere they passed. Since the deceased was a Muslim, Adulai Baguma, the imam of Bukwali Mosque together with some colleagues of the deceased who are Tanzanian students at Kampala International University held short prayers for the deceased. 

Between 3:45 pm and 3:55 pm, Dr Ali's body was lowered into the grave with the guidance of the Imam in regards to the Muslim mode of burial. Those that witnessed the burial were not allowed to get near the grave and were kept about 500 meters away because they were not dressed in PPEs.

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