WHO Adds Five Countries to List of Those at High Risk of Importing Ebola from Uganda

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has added five new countries to the list of those that are at the highest risk of importing Ebola Sudan that has been spreading in Uganda since September this year.  

The countries are the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Djibouti. The global health body, says that they reached this decision after conducting a risk assessment study where they found a lot of cross-border movement into Uganda, which has so far registered confirmed 141 cases with fifty-five deaths resulting from the viral hemorrhagic fever.

These countries join six others including Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Tanzania WHO had given a list of readiness actions to do for prevention but also for managing positive cases in case they are imported.

A WHO statement released on Friday shows that Burundi, for instance, has trained community health workers to conduct surveillance whereas the neighboring DRC has been testing suspected Ebola Sudan cases that have all tested negative.

Rwanda, the organization reports has gone further ahead of others to start setting up Ebola Treatment Units even as no case has tested positive so far. However, while this is happening, Uganda’s Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has said the country is on the way to defeating the virus since the epicenter districts of Kassanda and Mubende have since stopped recording new cases. 

While Mubende had spent eighteen days without a new case, one case of a health worker was picked recently, Kassanda hasn’t had any positive case in more than ten days. Aceng says if the status quo remains, Uganda will soon start a countdown to declare the country disease free.

A country has to wait for forty-two days without a new case to be considered free.   

She attributes the success to the lockdown in the epicenter and the fact that communities understood that they have a role in countering transmission by helping in contact tracking and reporting any suspicious cases.  

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