Uganda gives approval for experimental Ebola treatments

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Congolese officials and the World Health Organization officials wear protective suits as they participate in a training against the Ebola virus near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

Health workers received the all-clear to use experimental Ebola treatments in Uganda, a week after the deadly disease spread over the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities said on Tuesday.

“Happy to inform you all that we got clearance from both Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and National Drug Authority to bring in the Therapeutic treatment for #Ebola patients in the country,” Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, said on Twitter.

She did not give more details on which drugs had been approved, or what quantities would be brought in.

Two people who had traveled from Congo died in Uganda last week, the World Health Organization said. A three-year-old boy who was sent back to Congo after testing positive for the disease died at the weekend, Congo’s health ministry said.

At least another 1,411 people have died in Congo since August in the second worst outbreak of the disease on record.

The World Health Organization has said there have so far been no known cases of Ebola spreading between people in Uganda – all recorded patients had traveled in from Congo.

Four experimental therapeutic treatments are already being used in Congo, it added.

On Friday, a WHO panel decided not to declare an international emergency over Congo’s Ebola outbreak despite its spread to Uganda, saying such a declaration could cause too much economic harm.

Health workers and people who came in contact with infected people began receiving a Merck experimental vaccine in Uganda on Saturday.

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