The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that Uganda will receive three Ebola vaccines for clinical trials next week.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that a WHO committee of external experts has evaluated three Ebola candidate vaccines and agreed that all three should be included in the planned trial in Uganda. We expect the vaccine to be shipped next week,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday.
He added that already the Ugandan Minister for Health, Jane Ruth Aceng accepted the committee’s recommendation.
According to an additional statement from the WHO, since the Ebola outbreak began, the government of Uganda, together with researchers, funders, companies, regulatory authorities and other partners have been working under a global effort coordinated by WHO to accelerate the development and deployment of these vaccines for use in trials
WHO also states that they are in concerted efforts with government of Uganda to intensify detailed case investigation, contact tracing, community engagement and infection prevention and control measures.
“The Uganda government’s efforts to respond to the Ebola outbreak have slowed transmission in most districts, and two districts have not reported any cases for 42 days, indicating the virus is no longer present in those districts,” the statement reads in part.
“There have also been two more confirmed Ebola deaths and 1 probable death, for a total of 55 confirmed and 22 probable deaths. 73 patients have now recovered.”
Fight against Ebola
President Museveni on Tuesday said that Uganda’s efforts to fight Ebola have started yielding fruit.
” Before we imposed restrictions on Mubende district whose objective was to control transmission out of the epicenter and specifically into Kampala City and consolidate efforts to contain the outbreak, on average, up to five cases of Ebola were confirmed on 3 a daily basis. However, in the first 21 days of restrictions, I have been told that the number of cases reduced to an average of three cases per day,”Museveni said.
“Our efforts are beginning to pay off as we have seen a decline in in the number of cases in Mubende. For example, for 18 days, we did not get a case until yesterday(Monday) when we got one case. I want to thank the people of Mubende for their determination to end this epidemic and congratulate them upon the good work they are doing.”
The president noted that overall, infections were dropping but expressed concern over some infected people whom he said were slipping through the quarantine imposed on Mubende and Kasanda districts to travelling to other regions and exporting cases there.
The president however noted that there has been slow progress in Kassanda district partly because of lack of cooperation among some district political leaders, poor adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), myths and misconceptions, and visiting traditional healers.