10-Month DR Congo Ebola Outbreak Threatens to Spread to Uganda

The ongoing 10-month Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has claimed over 1,400 lives. Now, neighboring Uganda is getting nervous as the disease threatens to cross the border. People frequently travel between Uganda and DR Congo to visit family and attend markets. Time reports at least two people who returned to Uganda after visiting DR Congo have died from Ebola.

Dr. Yona Kapere with Compassion International says no Ugandan children sponsored by the ministry have contracted Ebola. However, at least one child sponsored in the country has had a relative die from the disease.

In Uganda, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified at least 112 people who possibly came into contact with Ebola. By quarantining and immunizing these individuals, Uganda is trying to prevent its own outbreak. The country has also set up crossing points at the DR Congo border. Here people coming into Uganda are screened for the disease.

“The Ministry of Health, together with our church partners, they have prepared to respond to Ebola cases in our nation. So far, health education is going on, the victim cases isolated, the contacts are isolated and being followed, the medical team [is] vaccinated and equipped to respond,” Dr. Kapere explains.

Kapere says prevention efforts mean the risk of an Ebola outbreak in Uganda is minimal. People in the country are learning how to prevent the spread of Ebola, recognize the signs of Ebola, and protect themselves from contracting the disease.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News