The Ebola virus diseases outbreak in Uganda which was declared in June has been contained, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and Uganda’s Ministry of Health.
On July 24, the Ministry of Health marked the end of the 42 days since the death of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patient which occurred in Kasese district. This is the period recommended by WHO to monitor the situation for any EVD cases that may arise out of the contacts with the confirmed cases.
If no cases are detected within that time, the event or outbreak is deemed contained in the outbreak area.
“There are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Kasese district or any other part of the country,” a joint statement by Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and the WHO Country Representative for Uganda, Yonas Tegegn Woldermariam reads in part.
However, WHO and government of Uganda say the outbreak continues to escalate in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with which Uganda shares a long and porous border.
“This therefore means Uganda is still under EVD threat and the Ministry of Health remains on high alert for any eventualities”.
So far, 5,500 people in Uganda including frontline health workers and other workers and community people have been vaccinated.
The Ministry has reiterated that Uganda remains safe for travel and all national and international travelers are free to travel to and within the country.
All places of tourist attraction including national parks in Western Uganda are safe, open and secure for both local and international tourists.
Government says the screening for people moving from DRC into Uganda continues both at the border points and the Entebbe International airport. At the airport, screening targets all passengers who have had a history of travel of less than 21 days to DRC.
Active community and health facility based surveillance is ongoing throughout the country with emphasis on the high-risk districts including Arua district.
Uganda has a good track record in managing Ebola and in all previous outbreaks, the disease was contained within the outbreak areas.
Last week, WHO declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
The declaration was meant to rally wealthy donor countries to provide more funding to support the response.
The outbreak in DRC has so far killed more than 1,600 people.
“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said WHO Director, Dr. Tedros.
“Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders — coming from not just WHO but also government, partners and communities – to shoulder more of the burden,” he added.