Uganda’s Ebola preparedness budget released in July 2019, stood at 64 billion Shillings, a bigger percentage of which was allocated to case management and infection control. Other components of the plan include building community resilience and institutional capacity to respond to an outbreak, to prevent the importation of Ebola into Uganda, and to prepare for a possible outbreak.
According to the DRC Health Ministry, the disease which started in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in August is increasingly spreading to other areas. Reports show that more transmissions have been recorded in Lubero, Komanda, Bunia and Ariwara health zones in recent weeks.
A total of 20 doses are being kept at standby treatment centre at Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital to cover the western part of the country in case of an outbreak and other doses are being kept in Kampala according to ministry officials.
The ministry's announcement comes after the elapse of 21 days of surveilling all contacts in their homes. The contacts are believed to have come into contact with the three confirmed Ebola cases or people who got into contact with them.
Our reporter sat at one of the feeder roads for about twenty minutes and saw two people strolling from DRC into Uganda carrying bags. Between Mpondwe market at the border with DRC and Bwera hospital, there are more than 12 entry points into Uganda.
“If you want, I can press for you and you get some. It will keep your hands clean,” she told URN. There was no hand washing facilities or sanitizers at Imperial Royale Hotel. The head of marketing, Jim Kasavubu, said they don’t have plans to install such facilities since they will cause panic and scare aware their customers.
Uganda has previously battled Ebola in two different occurrences, the worst being the 2000 outbreak in which 224 lives were lost and another 425 people infected. The other outbreak was in 2007 in Bundibugyo district where the country lost 37 people while the third outbreak involving three members of the same family was confirmed last week.
The released funds will be for strengthening disease surveillance at community level, health facilities and points of entry, training of rapid response teams of healthcare and front line workers on contact-tracing and infection prevention and control measures.
The Honda XL motorcycles will be deployed in the eight high-risk districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The districts are Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Kasese, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kabarole and Packwach.
The health workers that were vaccinated were those stationed in the 13 high risk districts neighboring DRC at 165 health facilities and 15 points of entry. The districts include; Bundibugyo, Bunyangabo,Kabarole,Kanungu, Kasese, Kisoro, Ntoroko, Rubirizi, Rukungiri, Hoima, Kikuube, Buliisa and Kagadi
The World Health Organisation confirmed in a tweet this evening that the DR Congo health ministry had informed them of a lab-confirmed case of the disease. A statement issued by the ministry indicates that the outbreak was confirmed from tests on nine people who came down with a hemorrhagic fever in Bas-Uele province in the northeast of the country on or after April 22.