Uganda: Ebola Outbreak DREF Operation Update No. 1 (MDRUG031)

CHF 107,056 from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) was allocated to support the Uganda Red Cross Society in delivering immediate assistance directly to 100 households affected by Ebola (585 affected people) and 3,628,390 people indirectly.

Summary: An outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever was confirmed in Luwero district after tests from Uganda Virus Research Institute came positive for Ebola Sudan on two samples collected by PCR and serology.

A DREF was launched on the 23 November to provide financial resources to Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) to respond through house-to-house health promotion campaigns, psychosocial services delivery, media campaign, Information Education Communication (IEC) material’s in Luwero, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Wakiso and Kampala districts for three months.

All the URCS affected branches collectively mobilized 150 volunteers, who have been engaged in the communities for the outbreak control activities and psychosocial support. The volunteers have undertaken intensified health education and promotion campaigns at household levels to improve on community knowledge of the symptoms and signs of the disease, as well as the procedure to follow for protecting the household members and ensure appropriate referral of suspected cases. Contacts of all suspected and confirmed cases were followed up by the volunteers on a daily basis to monitor the development of symptoms for the mandatory 21 days of follow up, and those who developed symptoms were immediately referred.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and World Health Organization (WHO) declared Luwero district Ebola-free on 16 January 2013.

This DREF operations update outlines the key activities implemented to date and the epidemiological summary report on the outbreak trend up to 2 January 2013. This operation will be extended one month, during which a comprehensive review of the operation will take place. With the extension, the operation will end on the 22 March, 2013. A final report will be issued three months after the end of the operation (by 22 June, 2013).

The Netherlands Red Cross/Government and the Belgian Red Cross/Government made contributions which replenished 71% of the allocation made for this operation. The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.

The IFRC, on behalf of the Ugandan Red Cross, would like to extend thanks to all for their generous contributions.