UGANDA – The Ministry of Health in Uganda has acquired an assorted set of Viral Haemorrhagic Fever (VHF) Kits from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to enhance the protection of health workers responding to the current Ebola outbreak.

The government agency announced that USAID, through the World Health Organization (WHO), donated VHF kits consisting of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) supplies for health workers to safely care for Ebola patients in treatment centers.

In line with the Emergency Response Framework, WHO is leading partner coordination efforts with the Ministry of Health to ensure rational, effective resource mobilization while the Ministry of Health has activated response efforts to rapidly contain the spread with support from health partners.

Viral hemorrhagic fevers expose health workers and their families to unprecedented levels of risk. The use of an appropriate VHF kit is the only way to ensure the protection of health workers when caring for Ebola patients,” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Acero, Uganda’s Minister of Health.

During the handing over ceremony at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Wandegeya, the WHO Representative to Uganda Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam emphasized that without health workers, there is no life.

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Kits have proven invaluable in preventing Ebola transmission, not only in treatment centers but also in the various activities carried out during the management of Ebola patients, such as cleaning, waste management, and safe burials,” he highlighted.

Dr. Yonas further said that the provision of the essential medical supplies is in line with WHO’s role, which is to ensure that health systems can prevent and respond to shocks, crises, and emergencies that affect their populations.

in addition, USAID/Uganda Mission Director Mr. Richard Nelson reiterated the United States Government’s commitment to supporting Uganda to respond to health issues including viral hemorrhagic fevers.

Furthermore, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesushas underscored that the agency’s primary focus now is to rapidly control and contain the current outbreak to protect neighboring districts, as well as neighboring countries.

We urge neighboring countries to increase their readiness to respond rapidly and efficiently, if needed. WHO is fully committed to supporting you, together with our partners, to save lives and end this outbreak,” he said.

Dr. Tedros urged the Ugandan government to improve public health surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory testing and quality care for Ebola virus disease as well as to engage with communities about the risks they face, and how to avoid them.

As the Ugandan authorities have identified over 40 cases of Ebola Virus Disease in the past weeks, the European Union has also mobilized an initial US$194,733 (€200,000) in emergency funding to support the Uganda Red Cross.

The actions of the Uganda Red Cross society target a total of 2.7 million people in Uganda’s Mubende district, where the outbreak was first confirmed, and another 5 at-risk districts.

In addition, the health authorities will focus on coordination, surveillance with contact tracing, risk communication, community engagement, and safe and dignified burials.

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