By Jane Kamanzi.
Uganda has been declared Ebola-free according to a press statement signed by Health Minister Dr. Christine Ondoa. While addressing journalists this morning on the launch of Ministry of Health and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) Ugandan Golden jubilee activities, Ondoa said the deadly disease was no more.
“As you may recall, the Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola in Kibaale district on July 28th after receiving confirmatory results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) that the strange disease that had killed 14 people in the district was Ebola Hemorrhagic fever, Sudan strain. The index cases were reported from Nyanswiga LCI in Nyamarunda Parish of Nyamarunda sub-county. On October 4th, the Ministry will declare an end to the outbreak after completing 42 days of the post Ebola surveillance phase,” she announced.
She revealed that the Post Ebola Surveillance countdown period is a prerequisite of the World Health Organization (WHO) which requires any affected country to monitor the Ebola situation for a period of 42 days after the last discharged patient case before finally declaring that the outbreak is over. The last patient in Kibaale was allowed to go home on 24th August.
In addition to the good news, Dr. Andoa announced that the Ministry of Health and the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) are partnering to undertake a series of activities as a climax to the Independence Day celebrations.
Uganda is celebrating 50 years of independence on October 9th and various institutions as well as individual Ugandans have planned different commemorative activities. The Central Bank announced earlier this week that it would issue a shs. 1000 commemorative coin
“This initiative came as a result of realizing that the two partners play a critical role in protecting the lives of people through different ways. It is for this reason that the two groups have joined hands to take health services closer to the people,” said Ondoa.
In collaboration with the UPDF, the Ministry of Health will hold a national event at Hoima Regional Referral Hospital tomorrow (29th September) to flag off the activities. This will signify the beginning of a series of social mobilization and service provision activities in the five districts.
At the national level, the Ministry of Health and the UPDF will conduct a cleaning exercise of all the 14 regional hospitals throughout the country. This will be done in a bid to improve on the sanitation of these facilities as Uganda marks 50 years of independence. The hospitals are Moroto, Mbarara, Mbale, Soroti, Hoima, Mubende, Gulu, Arua Lira, Fort Portal, Masaka, Kabale, Jinja and Kawolo.