UNICEF launches Ebola response plan in Uganda

The United Nations children’s agency on Thursday announced the launch of an emergency Ebola response plan in Uganda following the deaths of two victims in the East African country.

The two were confirmed to be a 50-year-old grandmother and her five-year-old son, who are believed to have visited the Democratic Republic of Congo, the epicenter of the disease.

UNICEF in it’s announcement on Thursday said health authorities across Uganda needed to take quick measures to ensure the disease does not spread further.

“As our thoughts are with this young boy’s family, this is a tragic reminder that even one case of Ebola is one too many,” said UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Dr. Doreen Mulenga. “We must do everything possible to stop this outbreak in its tracks and prevent other needless deaths.  UNICEF is intensifying its efforts to do so and minimize this outbreak’s potentially devastating impact on children and communities at-large in Uganda.”

The UN agency noted that Uganda has embarked on extensive preparation programs over the past months in readiness for any outbreaks.

Dr. Mulenga said UNICEF would conduct a massive awareness drive in efforts to tackle the spread of the disease further.

“Awareness is the best way to prevent the spread of this virus. Strategically communicating the correct knowledge and best practices to affected communities is critical to doing so which, among other key interventions, UNICEF will provide its full support to moving forward,” she said.

The agency has appealed for $3.9 million to support Uganda in it’s Ebola response, including intensive Risk Communication and Social Mobilization, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Infant and Young Child Feeding, and Psycho-Social support interventions to children and their families.