UGANDA HOSTING EAC MEETING ON EBOLA THREAT

By Taddeo Bwambale

KAMPALA, Sept 30 – Uganda’s Ministry of Health is hosting a three-day cross-border disease surveillance meeting in Western Uganda to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic.

The foreign delegates are from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Tanzania. Experts from the East African Community (EAC) Health Desk and the East, Central and South African Health Community (ECSA-HC) are also taking part in the meeting.

The health experts at the meeting will also hold a Joint Ebola Table Top Simulation exercise to demonstrate best practices in containing the deadly disease.

Health Ministry Spokesperson Rukia Nakamatte told New Vision here Monday that the simulation exercise would be conducted at Rwizi Arch Hotel in Mbarara in Western Uganda.

Uganda’s team will include district health officers and disease surveillance officers from Mbarara, Kisoro, Kabale, Kanungu, Ntungamo and the health ministry.

Border immigration officials from Isingiro, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Rakai and Kalangala will discuss human and veterinary surveillance in those areas.

Ebola is a highly contagious disease spread by contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids such as sweat and blood. It has no cure and only supportive care is given to patients.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are currently 5,843 cases and 2,803 deaths attributed to the epidemic since March this year.

Last week, the United Nations Security Council called the Ebola outbreak in West Africa “a threat to international peace and security” and backed a 1.0 billion US dollars plan to check the outbreak.

In Uganda, the last Ebola outbreak was in 2012 and it claimed at least four lives, the worst being in 2000 when it killed 224 people.

A team of Ugandan health experts are providing advisory support to the affected West African countries, owing to success in quickly containing the spread of viral haemorrhagic infections.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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