WHO clears Uganda to import Ebola drugs

Tuesday June 18 2019
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Talks. President Museveni (right) meets the World Health Organisation director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at State House Entebbe on Monday. PPU PHOTO

Health minister, Dr Jane Aceng, yesterday said Uganda will receive therapeutic treatment for Ebola virus with support from World Health Organisation.
She, however, warned that the treatment is still under trial and should be expected in the country two weeks from now after they were cleared by National Council of Science and Technology and National Drugs Authority.

Trial drug
“It is still a trial drug. We can only administer it in a research. Uganda is ready to go. Our threat of Ebola has not reduced. We shall maintain ourselves in a response mode because the borders are still open and Ebola in DR Congo is not going down and the affected areas are near us,” Dr Aceng said yesterday.
Prof Pontiano Kaleebu, the director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), said there are four different types of the drug; one which is made of antiviral antibodies while the other three are monoclonal antibodies. “If you use them, the number of those who survive increases compared to supportive treatment where they mainly use fluids, and nutrition,” Prof Kaleebu stated.
The ministry also reiterated that as of yesterday, Uganda had not registered any new confirmed Ebola case in Kasese District or any other part of the country since the last registered case four days ago, adding that there are two new suspected cases who are under isolation at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit.
“Currently, 92 contacts to the confirmed Ebola cases in Kagando and Bwera are being followed up daily. Ring vaccination of contacts of the confirmed Ebola cases, as well as non-vaccinated frontline health and other workers, commenced on Saturday, June 15,” the press statement issued yesterday states in part.
As of Monday, a total of 128 contacts and non-vaccinated frontline and health officers had been vaccinated.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director general of WHO, on Monday held bilateral talks with President Museveni to discuss potential interventions to end the Ebola outbreak both in Kasese District and DR Congo.
Dr Ghebreyesus also visited Butembo and Katwa, areas affected by the outbreak in North Kivu Province in Eastern DRC prior to his arrival in Uganda.