Uganda, DRC working together to prevent spread of Ebola

Nabukenya Aminah

Uganda the Democratic Republic of Uganda have resolved to work together to prevent the Ebola outbreak spreading.

The commitment was made by the DRC Minister of Health Dr Sem Llunga and his Ugandan counterpart Dr Ruth Aceng.

Dr Llunga explained that there areas with Ebola outbreak are controlled by local militias known as Mia Mia with whom they have to negotiate before deploying health care workers. The areas include Goma.

He also revealed that the DRC government had successfully vaccinated over 10,000 health care workers  in the areas affected by the outbreak, these include modern and traditional health workers.

Dr Llunga, however, said that the areas controlled by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) have not had any Ebola reponse interventions.

He said that “The security situation in the jungles controlled by the ADF has made it difficult for us to respond to the outbreak in these areas.  We have not made any contact with the ADF.”

Ugandan health minister Dr Ruth Aceng thanked the DRC government for intercepting five families with affected persons who were trying to cross into the Uganda border.

She added, “Congo and Uganda have demonstrated timely response to Ebola outbreaks in the past including the ongoing outbreak. Uganda is currently considered a high risk country in Africa due to its proximity to the DRC or an outbreak within the country.

Accordingly, the districts in the country have been categorized by risk into three to guide planning and response as High, Moderate and Low risk districts.

Response strategies and capacities based on the six pillars are being developed to scale; coordination and resource mobilization, surveillance and Laboratory, Case management and IPC, risk communication and mobilization, Mental Health and psychosocial support, EVD Ring Vaccination, Therapeutics and Research, Emergency logistics.”

As of December 3, 2018, the DRC Ministry of Health had registered 267 deaths and also recorded 405 confirmed cases.

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