Health International

Uganda Shuts Clubs, Limits Gatherings Over Increasing Cases of Ebola

On 5 June 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF-supported social mobilizers address a group of children in central Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur Province. Since the start of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, UNICEF and its partners have reached more than 300,000 people with lifesaving information about how to avoid contracting the deadline virus.Following the announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 8 May 2018 of a new Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, UNICEF has mobilised its teams to help contain the spread of the disease. The outbreak was declared in the Bikoro Health Zone, located more than 100 kilometers south of the provincial capital of Mbandaka. A UNICEF team with two doctors, a specialist in water, sanitation and hygiene as well as a specialist in community communication left today from Mbandaka to assess the extent of the epidemic and begin implementing the response, alongside the Government and the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the ninth Ebola outbreak in the country since 1976. UNICEF supports the Government in its coordination of the response both from the country’s capital Kinshasa as well as in the affected area. UNICEF has been active in the Equateur Province for many years. Based on its experience in previous Ebola epidemics, UNICEF is focusing its response on communication activities in the communities to protect people from the disease and on water supply, hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease. UNICEF has already sent a total of 45 kg of chlorine, five sprays, 50kg of soap and 28,000 water purification tablets to the area, as well as 600 posters and 6,000 leaflets to educate affected communities.

Health officials and civic leaders in Uganda have suspended operations of entertainment centres and limited the number of people attending burials and weddings in Mubende District as they race to curb the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The country has confirmed seven cases of Ebola so far, including one death – a 24-year-old who was confirmed dead on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Health Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona said the death of a child in the area has been linked to probable Ebola.

In Mubende, the district Ebola taskforce imposed restrictions on visits to public offices in measures that mirror the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The Mubende Resident District Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Byabashaija, who also doubles as the head of the Ebola taskforce in Mubende, said allowing gatherings to continue would be risking people’s lives as the virus spreads rapidly through physical contact.

“Since Ebola is spread through body contacts and it can highly be spread in congested places, we have come to a decision to suspend entertainment places, congested places, limit number of people attending weddings and introductions,” she said.

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