Uganda remains Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) free as of November 2019, although the risk of EVD importation remains very high given the porous border shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Over 1.2 million of the refugee and asylum seeker population are children and women that require humanitarian assistance.
Flooding and mudslides have intensified throughout the country, particularly in the sub-regions of Teso, Elgon, West Nile, Rwenzori, Bukedi and Lango and Bundibugyo. The number of displaced and affected people remain unconfirmed as assessments in the areas continue.
A total of 246 new unaccompanied or separated children (165 girls; 81 boys) benefitted from follow-up visits, placements and referrals by UNICEF and partners in November.
In November, 55,407 people at risk of EVD were reached with key messages through direct interpersonal engagement during house to house visits and community meetings.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
According to Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, Uganda continues to host the largest number of refugees in Africa, with over 1.37 million refugees and asylum-seekers within its borders.1 Of those, 857,268 are from South Sudan, 395,587 from DRC, 45,437 from Burundi, and nearly 75,220 from Somalia, Rwanda and other nearby countries. Sixty-one per cent of Uganda’s refugee population are children.
Ebola Outbreak: As of 30th November, there were no reported EVD cases, nor any contacts under follow-up. However, UNHCR trend analysis has shown that, due to the festive season, the months of December and January tend to be marked by increased cross-border movement of people from the DRC, posing continued risks of EVD importation. Uganda has 68 doses of Regeneron EVD drug/therapeutics (the only protocol approved in Uganda), prepositioned at the Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Kasese district. The EVD National Task Force (NTF), District Task Forces (DTFs) in high risk districts and subcommittees continue to monitor the situation and coordinate preparedness activities.
Cholera outbreaks: As of 30 November, all reported cholera outbreaks in the five districts of Bududa, Busia, Isingiro, Kisoro and Kyegegwa have been controlled. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is yet to declare the end of the outbreak since the last confirmed case was in September 2019.
Malaria upsurge: Routine District Health Information System 2 (DHIS 2) data analysis conducted by the MoH National Malaria Control Programme observed that malaria cases doubled between April 29 and 5 May 2019 across Uganda compared to the same period in 2018. The weekly mTrac surveillance data indicated an increase of cases between 14-20 October (115,101 cases) and the last week of November (186,018 cases). However, this is not a true representation of cases since the end of November showed a high reporting rate at 66.1 per cent compared to 48.6 per cent a couple of weeks prior. The key drivers of this upsurge continue to be prolonged intermittent rains, population movement from low to high burden areas and vice versa, human activity that creates artificial vector breeding sites and low utilization of mosquito nets in the communities.
Measles and Rubella outbreak: In November, 1,789 suspected measles cases were investigated in 113 districts. Of these, 615 were positive for measles, 329 for rubella and 59 for both measles and rubella. Compared to the 93 cases reported for the month of October, the number of suspected measles cases reported in November reduced to 37, due to the nation-wide mass Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign. Four measles cases were confirmed in the month of November 2019 from the three districts of Arua, Kiryandongo and Lira. The cases reported are due to the rate at which immunity to measles is achieved (85 per cent) leaving at least 15 per cent with possibility of contracting measles.