Breaking

UGX 3 trillion Needed for Ebola Prevention

Top story
According to the Health Ministry, the funds will be used to implement a number of preventive methods including the procurement of permanent walk through scanners, surveillance in high risk districts, case management control, facilitate health workers in the high risk districts and vaccination if needed.
L-R; Dr. Woldemariam and Dr. Aceng
At least Shillings 3 billion is required to boost Uganda's preparedness against the Ebola virus, the Health Ministry has revealed. The Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng says the funds are needed to improve Uganda's position to handle any Ebola outbreak. 

"At the moment, we cannot say that we are 100 percent ready to handle an Ebola outbreak. We need more funds,” she said.

She was speaking at a stakeholders meeting at Golf Course hotel in Kampala this morning involving participants from health development partners like USAID, Centre for Disease Control and East African Centre for Public Health.

According to the Health Ministry, the funds will be used to implement a number of preventive methods including the procurement of permanent walk through scanners, surveillance in high risk districts, case management control, facilitate health workers in the high risk districts and vaccination if needed.

In the tentative budget by the Ministry, at least Shillings 1 trillion is needed for Ebola vaccination. Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO country representative, says that vaccination might be needed in the future. 

“We are going to use all the different options that we have to try and protect people. We have many options of vaccines that we can choose from and one of them is the one that was used in North Kivu. This process is not cheap and that is why we need funds,” he said.

Early this month, the Congolese Health Ministry rolled the vaccination of high risk groups like health workers and people suspected to have in contact with Ebola victims. The vaccine, which has been used in the US and West Africa is manufactured by Merck Pharmaceuticals.

More than 70 people are believed to have succumbed to the disease in North Kivu. Although Uganda hasn't registered any Ebola case yet, several measures have been put in place in districts that border North Kivu. They include Bundibudyo, Bunyangaba, Kabarole, Kasese and Ntoroko districts.