KAMPALA – UNICEF has launched an emergency Ebola response plan in Uganda, following confirmation of the first three cases of the Ebola Virus Disease in the country over the past two days.
UNICEF’s shift to its response phase in the east African nation follows months of preparedness and prevention efforts as Ebola cases increased in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“As our thoughts are with this young boy’s family, this is a tragic reminder that even one case of Ebola is one too many,” said UNICEF Representative in Uganda, Dr. Doreen Mulenga.
“We must do everything possible to stop this outbreak in its tracks and prevent other needless deaths. UNICEF is intensifying its efforts to do so and minimize this outbreak’s potentially devastating impact on children and communities at-large in Uganda.”
Over the past several months, UNICEF has supported the Government of Uganda implement extensive programmes to make sure communities in numerous districts in western Uganda bordering the DRC are prepared for a potential outbreak.
The UNICEF support includes targeting nearly 350,000 household visits to provide targeted, culturally appropriate information around Ebola prevention and timely care-seeking over 14,000 community group meetings at schools, churches, mosques, market places, taxi, boda-boda and bus stops as well as at funeral gatherings, to discuss Ebola prevention and timely care-seeking, which have reached around 2.4 million people.
Providing water, sanitation and hygiene supplies to more than 500 health facilities, over 1,000 schools and 60 border points, building capacity for infection prevention and control in health facilities through water, sanitation and hygiene interventions and on-the-job orientation and mentoring of health facility staff on effective prevention.
There will also be training nearly 1,500 Uganda Red Cross volunteers and para-social workers to support affected populations deal with Ebola-related stress.
UNICEF requires $3.9 million to support the Government of Uganda’s Ebola response with intensive Risk Communication and Social Mobilization, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Infant and Young Child Feeding, and Psycho-Social support interventions to children and their families.