The European Union is reinforcing preparedness in Uganda in response to the 10thoutbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to a press statement released yesterday, there is a real risk of Ebola spreading to Uganda due to intense cross-border movements between the two neighbouring countries.
The body is providing Shs 270 million (€60 000) in humanitarian funding to reinforce interventions aimed at detecting cases and preventing transmission.
“We have to be extremely vigilant and never let our guard down when dealing with health threats such as Ebola. The European Union has been at the forefront of efforts to help people affected by the virus and contain outbreaks. We have mobilised the EU emergency response mechanisms and provided logistical support for the recent and current outbreaks in DRC, and also contributed to vaccine development. Our support to the Uganda Red Cross will help to take much needed action to help the country prepare better,” Christos Stylianides, the Commissioner of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management at the EU, said.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
The EU funds are expected to allow the Uganda Red Cross to reinforce preparedness and prevention in seven of the most at risk districts bordering DRC; Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kabarole, Bunangabo) and 18 points of entry.
The Uganda-DRC border sees daily movements of displaced populations, traders and miners.
Insecurity and community resistance in eastern DRC are hindering efforts to contain the disease.
More than 244, 000 Congolese refugees have arrived in Uganda in the first half of 2018 as a direct consequence of inter-communal violence in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
Since this outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018, 151 cases of Ebola have been reported in eastern DRC.