Uganda asked to host meeting on Ebola virus

Monday October 20 2014

A casual worker clears the area around the

A casual worker clears the area around the Mulago National Referral Hospital Ebola isolation centre during a previous outbreak. Photo by Stephen Wandera 

By Stephen Otage

The World Health Organisation (WHO), has asked the government to organise and host a conference on Ebola, with the aim of using the platform to share experiences with the rest of the world.

Speaking at the launch of a book titled African Health Leaders last week, Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda revealed that the country had been asked to host the conference because of the role it has played being able to contain the disease during previous attacks.

“The World Health Organisation has asked government to organise a week-long Ebola course in Uganda to share knowledge on how to bring the disease to a halt,” revealed Dr Rugunda.

Currently, the West African region is battling one of the deadliest outbreaks of the Ebola disease, which has so far claimed over 4,000 lives, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to figures from the world health body.

Uganda’s contribution
Dr Rugunda said as the Ebola epidemic reached its peak in West Africa, Uganda made a substantial contribution towards its containment by sending a team of expert doctors to the region. The African Union (AU) also appointed Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta to head the African Health Corps to manage the outbreak in West Africa.

“Uganda has had several epidemics and through managing them well, it has gained a lot of experience that the world can learn a lot from us,” Rugunda said.

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Since its outbreak, there has been intensified screening of travellers across borders to try and limit infections, as there have been cases of the disease reported in the United States, Spain and German among other countries.

The book, which was launched on Friday, is a documentation by the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation. It profiles various experience of prominent health professionals in Uganda in dealing with epidemics such as Marburg, Ebola, malaria and HIV/Aids.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has launched another urgent appeal for funds to help fight Ebola after a previous drive for donations fell short of the target.

The UN chief said a $1bn trust fund he launched in September has received just $100,000 (about Shs250m) so far. WHO says it is ramping up efforts to prevent Ebola spreading beyond the three countries most affected by the deadly virus. Global effort to tackle the Ebola outbreak have been criticised by several leaders.

EBOLA SYMPTOMS
•Nausea and vomiting.
•Diarrhoea (may be bloody)
•Red eyes.
•Raised rash.
•Chest pain and cough.
•Stomach pain.
•Severe weight loss.
•Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from the ears, nose and rectum).


sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

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