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Hope as Doctors Without Borders respond to Ebola outbreak in Uganda

An isolation ward in Uganda during a 2000 Ebola outbreak. Despite mounting evidence that infectious diseases can be spread via the handling or eating of bushmeat, local people’s attitudes towards the risks remain relaxed. Education could help solve that problem. Photo by Daniel Bausch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC

An isolation ward in Uganda during a 2000 Ebola outbreak. MSF intervened in the country to support the Ugandan health authorities in the management of people who had been in contact with these confirmed cases (PHOTO/File)

Immediately after the September 20th declaration of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda in the country’s central Mubende district,the Ministry of Health has asked Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders to support its efforts in the fight against the spread of the disease.

On Wednesday 21 September, an MSF team of six persons, consisting mainly of doctors and logisticians, travelled to the town of Mubende to assess the situation and needs at the regional referral hospital where the first case was detected.

Since the assessment, MSF has started setting up an Ebola isolation and treatment centre in the Mubende hospital.

The Doctors Without Borders are also exploring the possibility of setting up a second centre in the town of Madudu, around 25 km north, where the first person who died from Ebola originated, and where several suspicious cases are reported. “But the priority today is to improve patient care in the current structure,” the said on Friday.

Adding, “MSF is gathering a team of medical people, epidemiologists and logisticians with experience in hemorrhagic fever case management that should be ready to start working beginning of next week. The organization remains available for the Ministry of Health to intervene further where needs are identified”.

The last Ebola outbreak in the country occurred in 2019.

MSF intervened in the country to support the Ugandan health authorities in the management of people who had been in contact with these confirmed cases, the establishment of an Ebola treatment unit, and assistance in improving infection prevention and control measures.

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