• According to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and UNHCR, a total of 6,700 new refugees arrived in Uganda in September from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi, bringing Uganda’s total refugee and asylum-seeking population to 1.34 million.
• Malaria remains a serious concern with the number of malaria cases doubled in September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
• This year, measles and rubella outbreaks have each affected 50 districts and 28 districts respectively. To contain the outbreaks, the Government of Uganda, with support from WHO and UNICEF, are introducing the Measles and Rubella (MR) vaccine into routine immunization at the end of October 2019.
• UNICEF continues to intensify Ebola-related risk communication and social mobilization activities, as well as interventions on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) through WASH, child protection, and nutrition. UNICEF and partners reached an additional 20,700 people through direct interpersonal engagement during house-to-house visits and community meetings in 10 high-risk districts, bringing the total number of people reached with key messages to 630,400.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Uganda continues to host the largest number of refugees in Africa, with over 1.34 million refugees and asylum-seekers within its borders, according to UNHCR and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).1 Over 848,200 are from South Sudan, 384,000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 42,000 from Burundi and nearly 71,200 from Somalia, Rwanda, and other nearby countries. Sixty-one per cent of Uganda’s refugee population (over 812,000 people) are children. According to the OPM and UNHCR, a total of 6,700 new refugees arrived in Uganda in September from South Sudan, the DRC and Burundi. The average daily influx in September included 33 people from South Sudan and 192 from the DRC, compared to August arrivals of 26 and 191 respectively, with food insecurity being the main driver of movement from South Sudan and conflict being the main driver of movement from the DRC.
Ebola Outbreak: As of 30 September, there were no reported Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases or contacts under follow-up, and 7,945 frontline health workers and their contacts in 14 districts had been vaccinated against EVD. The latest EVD case was reported in Kasese district on 29 August 2019 involving a nine-year-old girl from the DRC who was detected during the routine screening at Mpondwe Point of Entry on 28 August. The child was brought by her mother to Uganda for healthcare. She tested positive for Ebola Zaire and died at Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) on 30 August 2019.
From 25-26 September 2019, a cross-border meeting between Uganda and the DRC was held in Kampala, with a focus on strengthening surveillance and coordination of point of entry activities. Some key recommendations included: the need for urgent review and finalization of the Health memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the DRC and Uganda; the development of a framework for management/repatriation of imported EVD cases; and the establishment of a one-stopborder point at Mpondwe. The National Task Force coordination sub-committee approved the organization of another crossborder meeting yet to be scheduled to strengthen risk communication and community engagement. The meeting will be conducted under the leadership of the district local governments of Kasese (Uganda) and Kasindi (the DRC), with support from the OPM, WHO, UNICEF Uganda County Office (UCO), and UNICEF DRC.
Cholera Outbreaks: Uganda is currently responding to cholera outbreaks in the five districts of Bududa, Busia, Isingiro, Kisoro and Kyegegwa. Outbreaks in Isingiro, Kisoro, and Kyegegwa are reported among refugees from Burundi (Isingiro) and the DRC (Kisoro and Kyegegwa). Upon a revision of the Ministry of Health (MoH) Epidemiology and Surveillance Division (ESD) of cholera cases per district line list, the total number of cases amounted to 315, inclusive of three deaths, with a case fatality ratio CFR of one per cent. In all districts, 30 September 2019 marked 21 days since the last cholera case was reported.