Red Cross on alert as Uganda confirms first Ebola case

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Red Cross team trained to manage safe and dignified burrials

Kampala/Nairobi/Geneva, 12 June –Red Cross teams are on high alert following the confirmation of the first Ebola case in Uganda. According to the Ministry of Health, a five-year-old boy from Uganda returned from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) on 10 June. The child presented with Ebola symptoms and was transferred to an Ebola treatment unit in Bwera.

Robert Kwesiga, Uganda Red Cross Secretary General, said: “This is a worrying development, but we have been preparing for this for months now. We have been scaling up our efforts, in close coordination with government and other actors to help communities prepare for Ebola, and to contain its spread.” The Uganda border is close to the epicenter of the DR Congo outbreak, which is now the second largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.

Uganda Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has trained hundreds of community-based volunteers in anticipation of the potential spread of Ebola. Volunteers have been trained in Ebola screening, as well as in risk communication and community engagement, community-based surveillance, and psychosocial support.

Cross boarder Screening

In addition, Red Cross has procured equipment for safe and dignified burials and has provided training and technical support to Ministry of Health which will lead on the delivery of safe and dignified burials in Uganda. Andreas Sandin, IFRC Operations Coordinator, said: “We are ready to adapt and expand our support, but we must take stock of the lessons we have learned from the response in DR Congo. “Epidemics and pandemics start and end in the communities – we need to ensure this remains a community-led response to ensure we prevent Ebola’s further spread.” IFRC is also supporting the National Red Cross Societies of Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan to prepare for the potential spread of Ebola into their countries.

For more information, please contact:

In Kampala: Irene Nakasiita, +256 755000695, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Nairobi: Corrie Butler, +254 743044013, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In Geneva: Laura Ngo-Fontaine, +41 79 570 4418, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Community engagement on sensitisations and risk communication

URCS Contacts

Plot 551/555 Rubaga Road.
P.O. Box 494, Kampala Uganda.
Tel:     (256) 414 258701
Tel:     (256) 414 258702
Email: sgurcs@redcrossug.org


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