A month after the Ebola epidemic was declared in Uganda, MSF is striving to reduce deaths and the spread of the virus

A month after the Ebola epidemic was declared in Uganda, MSF is striving to reduce deaths and the spread of the virus

Since 20 September 2022, when the Ebola epidemic was declared in Uganda, MSF has been working with the Ministry of Health to support the provision of medical care in the country.

From the beginning of the outbreak through October 23, 90 patients have been confirmed with And thea ball 28 people died of the disease. Another 32 people have recovered and have been released from the treatment centres.

Given the challenges presented by the lack of a licensed vaccine or treatment to treat the strain And theSudan Football, and based on the experience of previous outbreaks, MSF is focusing our response in three areas.

Medical and nursing staffHe wentlogistics, infection prevention and control (IPC) and health promotion professionals are currently working on Reducing the spread of the epidemic, reducing deaths, and facilitating epidemiological surveillance, research and innovation.

One of the most important goals of controlling the spread of the epidemic is to reduce the time between the appearance of the first symptoms of the disease and its treatment. We know that the sooner patients are treated, Their chances of survival increase and the risk of disease spreading within the community decreases.”Dennis K. explains: Mbaye, MSF outreach project coordinator.

In Mubindi district, the epicenter of the epidemic, several teams of Mmedical Sin Fronteras is currently being deployed near patients. For example, some visit health centers or schools where there are patients And thea ball To support infection prevention and control and counseling related to health promotion.

An MSF team discusses plans for a 40-bed Ebola treatment center in Mubindi, near the epicenter of the recent Ebola outbreak. © MSF / Sam Taylor

They are also providing medical and social support to people who have been forced to self-isolate for 21 days after coming into contact with an infected patient. And theBall by distributing essential items such as hygiene products, food donations, and communication equipment. This support aims to compensate for the loss of income-generating activities and A person is allowed to carry out his isolation under acceptable conditions.

Health promotion team MSF also participates in identifying and tracing contacts To quickly identify people at risk of contracting the disease and raise awareness about how to prevent it and what to do if they develop symptoms. Finally, at MSF We are preparing to support the affected health centers To help them provide free primary health care to the population in the areas affected by the epidemic.

At the same time, we at MSF continue to support the Ugandan Ministry of Health in T.HMedical treatment of disease patients in Mubindi district, which is still the epicenter of the epidemic. Completed construction of a treatment center for And theA ball with 40 beds and another facility with a capacity of 40 beds, which will be able to provide intensive care, are being built in the city of Mubindi for patients with confirmed cases. An 8-bed treatment unit has been set up in Madodo for those in the early stages of the disease.

An MSF team discusses plans for a 39-bed Ebola treatment center in Mubindi
© MSF / Sam Taylor

In addition to building units, we donated medicines and protective equipment, and trained medical personnel working in health centers, Especially on how to take care of patients, but also on the hygiene measures that should be applied, something crucial to Preventing infection in hospitals. We also provided the Ministry of Health with medical and nursing staff from MSF with experience in managing cases of hemorrhagic fever.” Dennis Pasdyant, MSF Project Coordinator in Mubindi commented.

In Kampala, the country’s capital, we will develop similar measures: health promotion activities, social support for contacts, support for health centers with regard to infection prevention and control, and support for non-immune healthcare. And thea ball. It is also expected that MSF will be involved in patient care in the near future.

Finally, on the epidemiological side, epicenter (the research arm established by Médecins Sans Frontières) collaborates with the Ministry of Health, to support epidemiological activities, including infection surveillance, control and prevention.

Also from Doctors Without Borders We express interest and availability to participate in the research Which will begin in the coming weeks to provide vaccines and treatments for the Sudanese strain of the virus And thea ball.

MSF is working with the Ministry of Health to conduct the initial screening of suspected Ebola patients near their homes, in an area close to the epicenter of the outbreak. © MSF / Sam Taylor

Approval of effective vaccines and treatments for the 2018-2019 Ebola strain in Zaire in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and management of subsequent outbreaks. They were crucial tools in controlling the spread of the virus. However, we know that they can be developed and pre-tested for safety, but their effectiveness can only be tested during an outbreak. For this reason, as happened with the clinical trials conducted for vaccines and treatments for the Zaire strain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, the doctors Sin Fronteras is willing to invest heavily in this research.” John Johnson, MSF expert on vaccines and epidemiological response, concludes.

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