WHO director-general meets Museveni to discuss Uganda’s Ebola response

The World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus poses for a photo with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe. COURTESY: TWITTER/WHO

The World Health Organisation Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Sunday held discussions on Uganda’s response to the Ebola outbreak with officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Health, the WHO’s country branch and other partners following his arrival in the country from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ghebreyesus, like all travelers, had his temperature screened by a trained health worker, upon arrival, to ensure he was healthy enough to enter the country.

The meeting comes in the wake of the first confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Uganda, which neighbours the DR Congo.

Three people, who are members of the same family, have so far died. The three were two boys aged 3 and 5 and their grandmother. They were among 6 people who travelled from the DR Congo while still being monitored as suspect cases following a burial of the grandfather who died of Ebola.

The WHO also says there are 3 suspect cases are admitted at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit while ninety contacts are being followed up. The three cases have no relation with the confirmed cases.

Uganda was identified as one of nine high-risk countries neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health says it was able to mobilise $18.4 million in funds, train health workers in high-risk districts, strengthen logistics and build isolation facilities. The ministry also says it was able to convene the Ebola Accountability Forum to allow all partners to share their work.

Ghebreyesus, on Monday, also met with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe. Museveni said that he and Ghebreyesus are in agreement that the situation has been contained but urged the public to stay vigilant and observe guidelines issued by health officials.

“Dr Tedros assured me that the vaccine administered to those who had come in contact with the victims has a 97.8% success rate, which has helped contain the situation. I also agree with him about stepping up our primary health sensitization drives across the country,” President Museveni said in a post on his official Twitter account.

The latest Ebola outbreak, the 10thin the DR Congo and the 6thin Uganda, has killed over 1,400 people and is the second worst such outbreak in history.

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

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