The Ministry of Health in Uganda in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a guided tour for development partners to the Entebbe and Mulago Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) to assess the state and operation of the centers.
The guided tour involved officials from the Ministry of Health, WHO, and Ambassadors from the different diplomatic corps, including the embassies of the United States, the Norwegian government, Ireland and the British High Commission in Uganda.
Starting from the Entebbe ETU, the Minister of Health, Honorable Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng welcomed the partners to the 67 – bed center that has been designated for the management of health workers including all humanitarian workers involved in the response. The center, which also has nine (9) High Dependency Care beds recently discharged five health workers who had managed successfully and recovered.
“I want to appreciate our front liners – the health workers who have dedicated their lives to serve and save the people of Uganda. Your commitment and determination do not go unnoticed and without you, there is no life,” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
With support from WHO and the generous contribution of partners including the Norwegian government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the center has trained 30 health workers in the Ebola response. Through WHO support, a WHO case management expert and a senior MoH specialist doctor from Mulago hospital have been deployed to support case management and training at the site.
The WHO health organization has also provided discharge kits for the five health workers who were cured, assorted infection prevention and control (IPC) and case management supplies, three (3) monitors, three (3) ventilators, and three (3) defibrillators from funding for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness in 2018/2019.
“We are committed to continuing working with the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health to ensure that the Ebola outbreak is contained. WHO is supporting all response pillars including case management to make sure that all cases are managed properly,” said Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO Representative to Uganda.
At the Mulago Hospital, the team toured the recently opened isolation unit capable of managing 120 patient at a time. The center is currently used for the isolation of high-risk suspects and other contacts pending confirmation of their test results. The team also visited the site at Mulago that was been earmarked for expansion for additional ETU beds. The construction of the new Site will be done by MSF who have also supported ETU construction in Mubende.
WHO has supported the treatment center at Mulago with one standard Viral hemorrhagic Fever kit (VHF PPE) that has supplies and equipment adequate for staff protection, assorted case management, and infection prevention and control supplies for use in the treatment. A 200 kva diesel generator was also supplied to provide power backup at the treatment center.
“I appreciate the support received so far from development partners towards the Ebola response. Strong partnerships and collaboration are the cornerstones of any response. I urge you to mobilize more resources to enable us to contain this outbreak,” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.
Since the Ebola outbreak was declared by the Ministry of Health on 20 September 2022, the country has so far recorded 64 cumulative confirmed cases and 25 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 39% as of 19 October 2022.
Response efforts are ongoing in the country to strengthen case management, contact tracing and community engagement.