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WHO applauds Uganda's Ebola response


World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti recently visited one of the high-risk districts for Ebola virus disease in western Uganda.

She commended health workers and Health Ministry officials for their sharpened preparedness to respond to an outbreak.

“We appreciate the investment that has gone into making sure the system is up and ready, to deal with patients when they arise. And we can only commit to continuing to support until the risk from across border in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is over. Because we have keep up these arrangements, this team, ready in case somebody else needs treatment,” she said.

Since 11 June, when Uganda declared the Ebola virus disease outbreak, there have been three confirmed cases, all of whom had travelled to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Uganda shares a nearly 900-kilometre long, often porous border with the DRC, where the disease has claimed more than 1 400 lives since August 2018.

More than 100 people who had contacts with the confirmed cases are being monitored. Since the outbreak was declared, 1063 high-risk individuals have been vaccinated.

This vaccination of contacts and contacts of contacts, known as ring vaccination, has shown good results in the DRC and other countries in West Africa.

There are currently no new, confirmed cases of Ebola in Uganda.

“So even when we don’t have any Ebola cases in Uganda, even when we no longer have suspect cases, we shall still remain in response mode because we’ve already had Ebola confirmed in the country and we can not declare an end to the outbreak because there is a potential outbreak still on the other side,” said Uganda’s health minister Jane Ruth Aceng.

A little over two weeks ago, Uganda cleared three experimental Ebola treatments, as it watches for its spread.

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