Many people have been asking if Ebola is a risk in our region. Currently there is not an Ebola outbreak in Uganda; however, Uganda faced numerous outbreaks from 2000-2012 that resulted in 278 deaths. Having experienced the tragedy of loss from Ebola on a smaller scale, we have great sympathy for the situation in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It is estimated that around 1,878 people have been taken by the current Ebola outbreak, the most severe Ebola outbreak ever recorded in regards to cases and fatalities. Included in the number of cases and deaths are several health care professionals. Dr. Samuel Muhumuza Mutoro, a Ugandan doctor working in Liberia under a contract with the World Health Organization and the Liberian government, died in late June after contracting Ebola during his work treating patients with the virus.
Uganda plays an important role in the current outbreak in nearby nations. Uganda is the home of many professionals with experience battling the Ebola virus. Many of these people have decided to come together to help tackle the issue in West Africa. The World Health Organization says “A team of Ugandan doctors and health workers are deployed by WHO to provide medical support for an Ebola treatment centre in Monrovia, Liberia. This team comes with vast experience in managing Ebola outbreaks, having faced many cases of this disease since 2000. They work shifts alongside their Liberian colleagues to provide around the clock care and to help maintain strict infection control measures.”
The outbreak of the Ebola virus warrants immediate attention. More Than Me is an organization in Liberia working to eradicate the virus. “More Than Me has formed The Ebola-Free West Point Coalition – a group of government, community, and NGO partners – to end the Ebola epidemic and stop the spread of the virus. The objectives of the coalition are simple: to provide information to the West Point community about Ebola and coach them on prevention, identify the sick, treat the ill, bury the dead, reintegrate survivors, and support the families of the affected. Immediate and sustained action with close coordination by coalition partners is required to put this plan in action to stop the spread of the disease. Our goal is to prevent further transmission and support the West Point community until there are no new cases.”
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