The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has recently approved a grant of USD 717,000 aimed to minimise on the spread of the deadly Ebola virus to the neighbouring country Uganda.
The fund was launched on April 2 in the western district of Kisoro. Kisoro is one of the district that borders with DRC and has for more than five years been hosting refugees from DRC.
According to World Health Organisation (who) this grant will help build on more strategies and structures targeted on building stronger disease surveillance.
In a 2018 report published by WHO, increased conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo by local militias has forced members in affected communities and patients to flee for safety in neighbouring countries which makes it hard to contain the disease and prevent its total control. The epidemic has also claimed more than 500 lives.
Further a local media report showed that disease had been surfaced in a Congolese fishing village near Uganda.
In partnership with the Congolese Ministry of Health, Uganda government and the International Monitory Organisation (IOM), the three parties have agreed to focus on national preparedness and public health response strategies with comprehensive population mobility-related information at the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Further IOM interventions in Uganda include training border officials on managing borders during humanitarian emergencies, screening refugees confirmed for resettlement and establishing flow monitoring using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)
The first ever known cases of the Ebola virus emerged in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976 infecting over 284 people. Many people died as result and the epidemic attracted global attention, countries such as France, the US, Belgium rushed to provide medical help to these victims. Since then, the virus has majorly in the DRC had recurrent occurrences with the latest in 2018 being classified as the “second largest Ebola epidemic in history,”
Reports from the Ministry of Health, Uganda, showed that the deadly Ebola Virus has emerged thrice since 2000 with a total of about 600 cases.