Even though Uganda has not registered any Ebola case since the outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ministry of Health is considering rolling out vaccination for all, should a case be reported at any border point. Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng says government will not take chances. This was revealed at the 3RD Grande doctors conference in Kampala graced by the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Days after reports that the deadly Ebola disease is 50 kilometers away from the Ugandan borders, health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has cautioned doctors working in the five risky districts to be vigilant. She said the immigration had already prevented three people from entry into Uganda pending further medical examination.
The high risk districts are Ntoroko, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Kanungu and Hoima.
Dr. Aceng notes that while they had availed only 300 doses of Ebola vaccination for frontline health workers, the ministry may consider rolling out vaccination for all.
Speaking at the doctors meet, President Yoweri Museveni has tasked doctors under their umbrella organization to strengthen seven key target areas if Uganda is to reduce its disease burden that the country is grappling with.
President Museveni asked the doctors to focus their attention on hygiene, malaria control, immunization, antenatal care, nutrition and AIDS and life style change
Uganda just like other developing African countries faces a burden of diseases both infectious and chronic. But while infectious diseases account for most deaths, the country may experience the largest increase in death if there is no concerted effort to curb the trend.
Currently there is a strong consensus that Uganda faces significant challenges in infectious disease research, practice and policy. The situation can however change if the seven public health concerns suggested by the president are tightened.
To achieve this, President Museveni has pledged to increase the medical workforce to at least 80,000 from 7000, and investment in healthcare and service delivery to revamp the weak health systems.