Uganda heightens health surveillance as Ebola fight continues

A general view of the main entrance of Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda. /CFP
A general view of the main entrance of Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda. /CFP

Uganda has imposed a mandatory health declaration requirement for all passengers leaving or arriving at Entebbe Airport.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority in a notice on Tuesday announced that passengers will be required to fill in a digital Ministry of Health declaration form within 24 hours prior to travel.

The country hopes the new measures will contain an Ebola outbreak currently in the country.

So far, 141 people have been diagnosed with Ebola. 55 people have died.

The virus circulating in the East African country is the Sudan strain of Ebola, unlike the more common Zaire strain that spread during recent outbreaks in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

In a televised address on Tuesday, President Yoweri Museveni said the government is doing all it can to prevent exporting the virus out of the country. He noted that the list of contacts and suspected cases have been submitted to immigration authorities to prevent cases from traveling out of Uganda.

An on-site mobile laboratory has been established in Mubende and risk communication activities are ongoing in all districts that have reported cases of the deadly disease.

The Ugandan government is also conducting community-based surveillance and active case finding.

Uganda’s efforts have been complemented by the presence of teams from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), WHO, the Global outbreak alert and response network (GOARN), and other partners.