Ebola epidemic - DREF operation n° MDRUG029
CHF 197,205 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering immediate assistance to 900,000 people in Kibale District and 4 surrounding districts (with a media campaign),646,700 people in Kibale District (with health promotion campaigns), 2,500 high risk people (with house-to-house contact tracing and follow-up), 900 people at risk of stigmatization (300 discharged from hospitals and their 600 family members with psychosocial support and NFI kits), 200 hospital staff (with personal protective equipment), and 220 volunteers (with training in epidemic control and psychosocial support) over 3 months. Un-earmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
An outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever was confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday, 27 July 2012 in Kibale district in Western Uganda. By Monday, 30 July 2012, there were 36 suspected cases of Ebola, with 14 deaths. More cases have continued to be reported in the affected area, with some being admitted in Kagadi hospital. There are fears that the disease has spread beyond Kibale. One suspected case was referred by ambulance to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, and died on 22 July 2012. Hospital staff handling the case are being monitored according to protocol and have so far not displayed any signs of the disease. The full extent of the outbreak is not yet established but is expected to be clearer after the assessment that started on Saturday, 28 July by a team of MoH, WHO, United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and URCS. The outbreak has been confirmed to be Ebola (Sudan type) and more laboratory tests continue to be done to further establish the characteristics of this outbreak.
A Uganda Red Cross Society Task Force has been established that will work closely with the Ministry of Health’s established Task Force consisting of a number of agencies including WHO, Medecin Sans Frontiers (MSF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Africa Epidemic Network (AFINET) and other development partners to coordinate local and international efforts to provide medical supplies and to assist with transport and personnel.
A total of 220 URCS volunteers have been mobilized and are receiving a refresher training to support the dissemination of information about the disease and its transmission in Kibale, as well as in Kampala and other at-risk districts. These volunteers will provide support to the vulnerable communities in tracing and follow-up of the contacts of the suspected/confirmed cases. Some of these volunteers will also be involved in psychosocial support, rehabilitation and distribution of Non Food Item (NFI) kits to survivors.
Since there are no cases of Ebola in Kampala for the moment, Uganda Red Cross activities in Kampala are currently limited to preparedness measures including: Refresher training for volunteers; pre-positioning of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials. The Ministry of Health has put sufficient measures in place to ensure an appropriate follow-up of the potential contacts (medical staff of Mulago Hospital).
This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by end-October, 2012. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by end January, 2013).