Uganda Red Cross intensifies Ebola Preparedness as the risk threatens both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo

Uganda Red Cross intensifies Ebola Preparedness as the risk threatens both Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo

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A Red Cross trained Volunteer registered screened individuals for Ebola a the Congo
Boarder-AFP

At least about 2,000 people are screened daily at the different entry points bordering Uganda and the Democratic of Congo. This number doubles during market days as more people enter Uganda for business, or as more refugees enter Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Uganda.” Says Paul Okot Bitex – Uganda Red Cross Ebola Preparedness Response Coordinator.

On August 1st, 2018, the Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed an outbreak of the Ebola Hemorrhagic fever in North Kivu Province and Ituri regions, about 100km west of Uganda. By September 25th, 2018, about 101 deaths had been registered in the DRC with several cases under investigations as probable. 

Uganda Red Cross in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Uganda and other partners composed a task force to implement Ebola preparedness and readiness efforts to curb the epidemic from spreading into Uganda as the county continues to receive more refugees and other Nationals who keep crossing in and out of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  

A URCS at one of the entry points from Congo. All entrants have to be registered and
screened for Ebola

Uganda Red Cross health response teams have been on ground to handle a number of components which include managing boarder surveillance, temperature screening of all entrants, hygiene promotion (Infection Prevention and Control), Risk Communication, sensitizations in communities and all public gatherings, psychosocial support among other activities. Uganda Red Cross also deployed 3 units of fully equipped ambulances to support any referrals for further management.

“We have deployed over 180 Volunteers in the 7 districts where we are operating. These are full time and are fully involved in all activities. We are working closely with the district health teams under the Ministry of Health arrangements, we are supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC DREF) and other partners UNICEF, WFP and World Health Organization (WHO) who have brought on table resources and technical support in all areas. As a Country, we are ready to manage Ebola and the commitment exhibited by the task force is very commendable.” Says Robert Kwesiga – Secretary General, Uganda Red Cross.

A URCS Community volunteer conducting household visit to create awareness about Ebola
prevention in Kisoro

The Uganda Red Cross Volunteers are deployed in Kasese, Bundibugyo, Kisoro, Ntoroko, Bunyangabo, Kanungu and Kabarole districts. These boarders with the Democratic Republic of Congo in the western stretch of Uganda.

There are several Ebola Isolation centres set up to manage suspected cases. For example, in Kasese district, there is one at Bwera hospital which is managed by the Hospital leadership. The Red Cross volunteers support and compliment the efforts of the health workers. 

“The basics are in place and we are ready to receive any suspects. Red Cross has trained teams that support us even if we got a confirmed case, we can manage dignified safe burials.” says Dr. Joyce Kabyanga, the In - Charge of case management team Bwera Hospital in Kasese district, western Uganda.

A URCS Volunteer screening one of the entrants from Congo

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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