UGANDA – Uganda, through the Ministry of Health, has hosted a series of theoretical and hands-on training on prevention and management of viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) held at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort in Kampala.
Uganda’s Ministry of Health has worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to train emergency responders from African countries on management of viral hemorrhagic fevers from 15th August to 19th August 2022.
The five-day training workshop focused on building regional capacity to respond to the unpredictable nature of outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fevers in the African region.
The training workshop funded by WHO targeted 29 emergency responders from five African countries namely Uganda, Zambia, South Sudan, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Furthermore, the participants were trained through the newly updated manual on the management of viral hemorrhagic fevers including the use of approved drugs.
The main purpose of the training exercise is to ensure participants are well informed on the revised management of viral hemorrhagic fevers for future epidemics in order to save lives and appropriately reduce transmission through adequate and appropriate infection control.
One of the recent viral hemorrhagic fevers in the region was the Ebola outbreak declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo on April 23, 2022, which ended three months later with four confirmed cases and one probable case, all of whom died.
In addition, the training is part of WHO’s existing support to countries to prevent and combat endemic diseases and health emergencies such as yellow fever, malaria, monkeypox and disasters including floods, famine and drought.
The workshop held in Uganda comes at a time when the Republic of Uganda is well positioned, given its existing structures for Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, to provide training for health care professionals.
According to WHO, operational preparedness for imminent risk is part of the broader context of emergency preparedness and the need for countries to build longer-term capacity to manage public health events including viral hemorrhagic fevers.
World Health Organization member states have agreed to invest more in long-term emergency preparedness capacity so that they are better prepared to manage future epidemics and other public health emergencies.
“Along with case management preparedness, there is a need to protect frontline health workers in the most at-risk districts in the country through vaccination against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD),” WHO said in a press release.
The Incident Manager for the WHO Country Office in Uganda Dr Charles Njuguna highlights that effective preparedness for unpredictable outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fevers is crucial for a rapid response to the killer diseases.
Dr. Charles emphasized that proactive operational preparedness pays off by reducing the public health impact of emergencies together with reducing the cost of response and recovery.
He further stressed that proactive operational preparedness serves as a long-term investment in the health system’s capacity to manage health emergencies as per the International Health Regulations 2005.
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