Uganda kickstarts coordinated response plan for Ebola

UGANDA – The Ministry of Health in Uganda has intensified its coordinated response plan to contain the spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD) after the country recorded 31 cumulative confirmed cases and 6 deaths so far.

The health ministry and development partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have launched the country’s Ebola response plan highlighting planned activities, priority needs and gaps.

The efforts made so far are important but need to be intensified if we are to end this pandemic today. I count on each of you to mobilize more resources in your respective capacities to end the Ebola pandemic in our country,” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Acero, Uganda’s Minister of Health.

The country’s health diplomatic corps discussed the current status of the ongoing outbreak, the country’s preparedness to respond and contain the outbreak while outlining the priorities and needs of the Ebola response as outlined in the national response plan.

In response to the outbreak, Uganda has taken immediate measures at both national and sub-national levels to strengthen all pillars of the response,” WHO announced.

The national response plan will serve as a blueprint for all partners, donors, and stakeholders to engage and contribute to the detection, response, and immediate containment of the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Uganda has also activated the incident management system and the National Multi-Stakeholder Task Force (NTF) chaired by the Ministry of Health and co-chaired by WHO to effectively coordinate the response.

The NTF enabled the immediate mobilization and deployment of technical, financial, and operational resources to the affected districts, including Mubende, Kassanda, and Kyegegwa,” the agency further said.

With support from its health partners, Uganda activated District Task Forces (DTFs) in ten high-risk districts, trained and deployed Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and Village Health Teams (VHTs) in a bid to curb the spread of the haemorrhagic fever.

The country also worked closely with partners such as the United Nations System to provide the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital with infection prevention and control equipment including three Ebola kits capable of handling more than 300 Ebola patients.

Furthermore, the Ebola response plan was developed in line with the guidance provided in the Emergency Preparedness and Response Standard, to develop core capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies, building on country experience and current best practices.

The increase in the number of Ebola cases in the country is of concern. Increased resources and sustained and coordinated actions among all stakeholders are essential to fight this pandemic,” said Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative to Uganda.

He further called upon all health development partners to mobilize additional resources to help Uganda fight the ongoing outbreak.

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