Uganda is currently fighting to control the most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus, which has killed 19 people and spread to five districts, with one of those deaths occurring in the capital city of Kampala. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are already more than 600 contacts that are participating in “active follow-up.”
On Wednesday, there was a meeting of the Emergency Ministerial Committee that took place. In order to arrange for cross-border cooperation, public health authorities from eight different African nations as well as the WHO were present at the meeting. According to the Ugandan minister of health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, “it is my sincere hope that working together we can come up with practical solutions to better protect our communities and reduce any chances of cross-border spread of this virus in the spirit of African solutions for African problems.”
The people who are on the front lines of medicine are medical laboratory assistants and other health professionals. To this point, there have been four of them who have taken their own lives. Even though Minister Aceng gave a list of short-term strategies, like getting the community involved, which are needed to control the outbreak, she also told her African colleagues to look for long-term answers.
“In the long term, as governments, we need to strengthen investment in research and development, innovation, and the manufacture of health tools such as vaccinations, diagnostics, and treatments,” she said. “This will allow us to address the broad spectrum of diseases that threaten us.”
At the end of the meeting, health authorities from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda agreed on measures to limit the transborder spread of the Sudan Ebolavirus.
On September 20th, a declaration of an outbreak was made when the strain was found in the East African country. As of now, there is no vaccine that has been shown to be effective against the Sudan ebola virus. Because of this, Uganda’s health officials have made it a priority to provide supportive care for people who have been diagnosed with the disease, as well as to increase testing, surveillance, and efforts to prevent and control infections.
At this time, there are at least six potential vaccines being developed to treat or prevent infection with Sudan ebolavirus. These vaccines are all in various phases of research. According to the World Health Organization, only three of them have Phase 1 data, which consists of data on the safety and immunogenicity of the treatment in human subjects. The remaining two are now undergoing preclinical study.