Kampala. The East, Central and South Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) on Monday lauded Uganda for its role in the fight against Ebola and asked all member states to emulate Uganda and develop robust comprehensive multi-sectoral response plans to manage diseases of public health emergency.
The ECSA member States comprising Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mauritius, and Seychelles, met in Arusha as the rest of the World commemorated the World Aids day, and used the opportunity at its 8th Best Practices Forum to deliberate on a number of public health challenges affecting the region.
The development comes as the Ebola outbreak continues to wreak havoc in West Africa killing more than 5,000 people to date in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The director general of the ECSA-Health Community, Dr Yoswa Dambisya, applauded Uganda’s effort in managing epidemics, saying many ECSA-HC countries faced challenges in preparing for and responding to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.
He noted specific areas including: coordination, communication, cross border collaboration, supplies and equipment logistics management, financing, case management, infection prevention and control, surveillance and contact tracing, diagnostics and community sensitisation and participation.
According to a statement released yesterday, Dr Francis Adatu from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, shared Uganda’s experience stressing that the country has been able to control hemorrhagic fevers because of its strong surveillance structures that are established up to the community level.
World Bank lowers 2014 growth
Meanwhile the World Bank has revised downwards its 2014 GDP growth projections for the three nations worst hit by the current Ebola outbreak - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. “The Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies,” it said. Its report comes as bank president Jim Yong Kim begins a two-day visit to West Africa to assess the impact. The World Health Organisation says 5,987 people have died from Ebola in the three nations.
The latest World Bank report still shows positive projected growth there for 2014, but at much lower rates. It said that “all three countries had been growing rapidly in recent years and into the first half of 2014”.