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UK announces support to help Uganda manage Ebola outbreak

Mubende Referral Hospital, the epicenter of Ebola outbreak in Uganda (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA — The British High Commission in Kampala has announced that the UK will provide £2.2m to WHO, UNICEF and WFP to support Uganda’s response to the current Ebola outbreak.

The support consists of £400,000 to the World Health Organization (WHO), to enhance case investigation and contact tracing at the local level, support laboratory diagnosis, and strengthen co-ordination of the response;

·£900,000 to UNICEF, to help prevent transmission of the disease through both strengthened engagement with local communities, and improved sanitation and hygiene provision in key installations – such as community health facilities and schools – in the affected areas; and

£900,000 to the World Food Programme (WFP), to support transport, logistics and storage for the overall UN response – including transportation of medical supplies and PPE, provision of cold chain equipment, and supporting the establishment of Ebola Treatment Units.

In addition, a UK Government expert has deployed to support WHO in Uganda, at their request, with expertise on case management.

Others – including from the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team – are expected to deploy imminently. All deployments will be agreed with the Government of Uganda.

HE Kate Airey OBE, British High Commissioner to Uganda said: “Time is of the essence when responding to this type of outbreak. The UK is helping the Government of Uganda and its partners in their response, by providing both funding that can help scale up delivery on the ground, and experts who bring experience of previous Ebola outbreaks in other countries. The UK will stand with the Government and people of Uganda in tackling this outbreak.”

The support package builds on previous assistance the UK has provided Uganda.

Between 2018 and 2020 the UK contributed nearly £10m – over UGX40 billion – to support Ebola preparedness in Uganda in response to a major outbreak in DRC and a small number of cases in Uganda itself.

This has supported the Government of Uganda’s current capability in responding to the current outbreak. For example, ambulances previously purchased by the UK via the WFP, and subsequently donated to the Uganda Red Cross, are being used in the current outbreak.

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