Less than four months after the first case was confirmed in Uganda’s central Mubende district on September 20 last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced yesterday that the country has declared the end of the Ebola disease outbreak caused by the Sudan ebolavirus. The health department in the country has said this has all been due to the robust work in the communities. The last patient was released from care on November 30 when the 42-day countdown to the end of the outbreak began.
When this became the country’s first Sudan ebolavirus outbreak in a decade, it also became the fifth overall for this kind of Ebola. From the 164 reported Ebola cases (142 confirmed and 22 probable), there were 55 confirmed deaths and 87 recovered patients. According to WHO, more than 4,000 people who came in contact with confirmed cases were followed up and their health monitored for 21 days, which left the case-fatality ratio at 47%.
“Uganda put a swift end to the Ebola outbreak by ramping up key control measures such as surveillance, contact tracing and infection, prevention and control,” said Dr Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero, Uganda’s Minister of Health in a statement on Wednesday.
“While we expanded our efforts to put a strong response in place across the nine affected districts, the magic bullet has been our communities who understood the importance of doing what was needed to end the outbreak, and took action,” Aceng Ocero added.
The WHO says it helped to protect frontline health workers by organizing a steady supply of personal protective equipment. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General congratulated Uganda in a statement saying that when a system works together, one can defeat a disease.
“…From having an alert system in place, to finding and caring for people affected and their contacts, to gaining the full participation of affected communities in the response,” Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Lessons learned and the systems put in place for this outbreak will protect Ugandans and others in the years ahead.”
A total of $8.5 million was provided by WHO to assist in helping the country curb this crisis.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided more than $22 million for response efforts in Uganda, including contributions from their Emergency Reserve Fund for infectious disease outbreaks.
“This crisis was a reminder that we must redouble our efforts to prevent and urgently respond to infectious disease outbreaks,” said Samantha Power, Administrator of USAID, in a statement on Wednesd