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In Uganda, health workers authorized to use experimental Ebola treatments

June 18: Ebola vaccines approved for Uganda

The Ugandan health minister said on Tuesday that health workers were now allowed to use three experimental Ebola treatments in the country, a week after the spread of the deadly disease at the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"We are pleased to inform you that the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and the National Drug Authority have authorized the therapeutic treatment of #Ebola patients in the country," said the Ugandan Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, on Twitter.

The approved treatments to be shipped to Uganda are the ZMapp of Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Regeneron Remdesivir, manufactured by Gilead Sciences, said WHO Spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.

This is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

"Protocols for the fourth submitted. Logistics in progress with MSF support for importing a few courses of about 10 each, "he added in an email.

The UN health agency said there has so far been no known case of Ebola spreading among people in Uganda; all registered patients came from Congo.

Four experimental therapeutic treatments are already used in Congo, he added.

Health workers and people who have been in contact with infected people began receiving an experimental Merck vaccine in Uganda on Saturday.


June 17: Kenya alert on Ebola, WHO chef visits DRC, Uganda

Kenyan doctors test an inpatient patient with Ebola-like symptoms in the east of the country, while eastern Congo strives to control the 1400-million-year-old epidemic people and spread to neighboring Uganda, where two deaths were caused by deadly haemorrhagic fever.

If the Kenyan patient is confirmed as carrying the Ebola virus, it would be the first ever case of the virus in this East African country and would represent a worrying spread of the disease from eastern Congo. Kenya has never experienced an Ebola outbreak and some Kenyan doctors have expressed concern about the country's readiness to handle the deadly virus.

The patient in Kenya is isolated at the Kericho County Reference Hospital, where staff has taken precautions to minimize contact, county spokeswoman Timothy Kimei said in a statement.

The patient had visited her wife on the border between Uganda and Kenya and three other family members were also under observation, according to Kenyan media.

However, Kenya's health minister downplayed the threat on Monday.

"The surveillance and rapid response team, which was sent to examine the patient in a stable state, confirmed that she did not fit the definition of Ebola case. Let me repeat to Kenyans that the patient does not fit the definition of the Ebola case, "said Sicily Kariuki, during a visit to Nairobi International Airport to see how the Arriving passengers are checked for fever symptoms.

"However, precautionary measures have been put in place, including the isolation of the patient and the submission of blood samples … for testing purposes," she said. "The result of the same thing is expected at 16 hours. tonight (Kenya time). "

In Uganda last week, two Ebola – related deaths had spread from eastern Congo, where the current outbreak has caused more than 1,400 deaths since the month of August. The two victims were part of a Congolese-Ugandan family who traveled to Uganda, marking the first appearance of Ebola cases outside of Congo since the beginning of the epidemic.

It is thought that the family contracted the disease at a funeral attended by dozens of people.

An expert committee from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that the Ebola epidemic in Congo was an "extraordinary event" of great concern, but did not deserve to be declared a global emergency.

Speaking in Kampala, in the Ugandan capital, the director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Monday that he was accepting the decision.

"For our part, I want to promise to continue to mobilize global and regional support to control this epidemic as quickly as possible. It is only clean when the epidemic in Congo is over, "he said, according to a statement from the Ugandan Ministry of Health.

The spread of the Ebola virus in eastern Congo has been "very unpredictable, with upward and downward trends," he said.

Health officials from eastern Congo have begun offering vaccines to all residents of the Mabalako hot spot, while previous efforts have targeted only contacts known or considered to be at risk. high.


What future for Uganda?

Ugandan authorities have now compiled a list of 98 contacts, or contact contacts, potentially exposed to the Ebola virus, 10 of which are considered "high-risk," said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's emergency program. .

Vaccination of these contacts and health workers with an experimental Merck vaccine is due to start on Saturday, he said.

Ryan told Reuters on Friday that there had been no evidence of local Ebola virus transmission in Uganda.

"No proof at the moment … But we are not yet at the end of our sentences," he said, pointing out that the incubation period could be up to 21 days.

June 14th: WHOThe position on Ebola

The World Health Organization decided on Friday not to declare an international emergency regarding the Ebola epidemic in Congo, despite its spread in Uganda this week, but the conclusion of such a statement could lead to excessive economic damage.

In a statement, the group of 13 independent medical experts from the WHO Emergency Committee urged neighboring "at-risk" countries to improve their preparedness for the detection and management of imported cases, "like the Uganda did it. "

"This is not a global emergency, it is an emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a serious emergency that could affect neighboring counties," said the interim chairman of the group of experts, the acting panel chairman, at a press conference at the headquarters of the UN agency in Geneva. .

"The committee felt that there is really nothing to be gained from declaring a PHEIC (Public health emergency of international importance), but there is potentially a lot to lose. "

Such a declaration could create restrictions on travel or trade "that could seriously harm the economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo," Aavitsland said.

WHO General Manager Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking on the phone from Kampala, said: "The spread of the Ebola virus in Uganda is a recent development, but the fundamental dynamics of the epidemic have not changed."

Some medical groups urged the committee to declare an emergency that would have led to stronger public health measures, funding and resources.

Lawrence Gostin, Professor of Global Health Law at the Georgetown University School of Law, expressed his disappointment at the fact that the panel did not declare the state of the University of Georgetown. 39 urgency for the third time.

"The @WHO has been criticized for being late in reporting a PHEIC in West Africa. Is it a failure DRC affect the legitimacy? Gostin tweeted.He said that he admired the panelists but did not agree with their conclusion.

Only four emergencies have been reported over the past decade, including the most serious Ebola outbreak, which hit West Africa in 2014-2016. The others were an influenza pandemic in 2009, polio in 2014 and Zika virus in 2016.


June 13: Uganda repatriates Ebola suspects in Congo

Ugandan authorities on Thursday banned public gatherings in the western district of Kasese, where two people died of the Ebola virus.

Relatives of the two dead from the Ebola virus have also been repatriated from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they will receive experimental and therapeutic treatment.

"Handwashing facilities have been put in place, with washing equipment such as JIK (bleach) and soap. Local reporter Ronald Kule told Reuters that people are not shaking hands.

While repatriation means there is no confirmed case of Ebola in Uganda as of Thursday, three more suspected cases of non-family-related Ebola remain isolated, said the health ministry.

"Uganda remains in Ebola response mode to follow the 27 contacts (family)," reads a statement from the Ugandan Ministry of Health.

At the same time, Red Cross teams have embarked on an Ebola awareness campaign in Uganda.DRC border area as a result of confirmed cases of the disease.

Manage a porous border

Ugandan Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, said difficulties remained at the "unofficial entry points" between Congo and Uganda, which share a porous 875-kilometer (545-mile) border. .

These unauthorized border crossings, known as "panyas" in the local language, are often simple planks laid on a point of the river, or through unsupervised forests and mountains.

The family, who had been repatriated Thursday, had left the Congo to travel to Uganda earlier this week and sought treatment when a 5-year-old boy became ill. He died of Ebola on Tuesday. Her 50-year-old grandmother, who accompanied them, died of the disease on Wednesday, the ministry said.

June 11th: WHO emergency meeting scheduled for June 14

The World Health Organization has announced that an emergency committee would meet on Friday to determine whether to improve its assessment of the situation to turn it into a "public health emergency." international scope ".

WHOin October and again in April, stated that the DRC the epidemic is an emergency of international concern, because the epidemic has been circumscribed DRC.

In order for the committee to make an emergency appeal, it must determine that the epidemic "has consequences for public health beyond the national border of the affected state and may require immediate international action".

If such a statement is made on Friday, this will represent a major shift in mobilization against the disease.

The worried experts

The current Ebola outbreak began last August in eastern Congo and has already infected at least 2,062 people, of whom 1,390 were killed.

"This outbreak is in a truly frightening phase and shows no sign of immediate arrest," said Jeremy Farrar, infectious disease specialist and director of the global Wellcome Trust, which fights against the disease. Ebola virus.

"We can expect and should plan more cases in DRC and neighboring countries, "he said, adding," With the exception of the West Africa epidemic of 2013-2016, there are now more than deaths than any other Ebola outbreak, and there is no doubt that the situation could escalate into terrible levels. "

The Red Cross has announced that it is intensifying its efforts to contain the spread of the virus since its discovery in Uganda.

"This is a worrying development, but we have been preparing this day for months," said Robert Kwesiga, secretary general of the Ugandan Red Cross, in a statement released Wednesday.

The experts noted that Uganda, which is very vigilant against the possible spread of the Ebola virus and has already vaccinated many front-line health workers, is relatively well prepared and should be able to limit the spread of the virus.

"Current cases in Uganda will be quickly contained, but failure to stop the current Ebola outbreak DRC is simply tragic, "said Ian Jones, professor of virology at the British University of Reading.


Brief: Preparing Uganda for Ebola

Since the beginning of the epidemic in August in eastern Congo, the Ministry of Health of Congo announced Monday to have recorded 2,062 cases, including 1,390 deaths.

Neighboring Uganda has regularly suffered epidemics of Ebola and Marburg, two very fatal viral haemorrhagic fevers. Health facilities for treating diseases are relatively robust.

A donor-supported laboratory in Entebbe, a lakeside town south of the capital Kampala, means that Uganda generally confirms outbreaks much faster than many of its neighbors.

In anticipation of possible cases of Ebola, Uganda has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers, surveillance of the disease has been intensified, special treatment units have been created and agents of health have been trained to recognize the symptoms of the disease. WHO I said.

The worst Ebola outbreak in Uganda was in 2000, when 425 people were infected. More than half of them are dead.


June 11: Ebola deaths recorded

To date, at least two people have died from the Ebola virus in Uganda, following Tuesday's confirmation of the deadly virus being transferred to the country.

The five-year-old Congolese child who was the first recorded case in Uganda and his grandmother both succumbed to the virus at Bwere General Hospital, where an isolation center was set up.

Authorities are now worried about the spread of the outbreak after confirmation of new cases on Wednesday.

"Two more samples … have been tested positive," the agency told the World Health Organization on Twitter, citing the health minister and bringing to three the total number of confirmed cases.

The local news channel, Daily Monitor, said the number of Ebola cases in the country had risen to 10, citing Health Minister Ruth Aceng, who said he There were seven other suspects, including two men, two women, and a six-month-old baby. from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

June 10: confirmation of the Ebola virus in Uganda

A case of Ebola was confirmed in Uganda, ten months after the confirmation of the deadly virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 5-year-old Congolese child, who entered Uganda on 9 June from the Bwera border post, is receiving treatment, the World Health Organization (WHO) (WHO) said Tuesday.

"This is the first case confirmed in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo," said WHO said in a statement.

The child's family requested medical care at Kagando Hospital and the child was transferred to the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for treatment, WHO I said.

"Confirmation was made today by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI) … Contacts are monitored, " WHO I said.

How the Ebola Victim arrived in Uganda

The boy was accompanied by his Ugandan father and his Congolese mother, who had returned to Congo to care for his father before his death, said Ugandan Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, at a press conference.

The family returned to Uganda with four other family members of Congolese origin, said Aceng. All other members of the Congolese family are isolated at Bwera hospital. Two of them have already developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and samples have been taken, said Aceng.

The test results are expected Wednesday. Eight other contacts are followed, said Aceng.

Aceng stated that his family had entered Uganda on June 10, not the 9th. The reason for the discrepancy was unclear and the WHO nor was the government available for clarification.

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