WHO donates motorcycles to support Marburg response in eastern Uganda
Kampala, 17 November 2017:- The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated 10 motorcycles to Uganda’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to enhance Marburg Virus Disease (MVD) contact tracing, active case search as well as disease and death surveillance in Kween and Kapchorwa districts. The Motorcycles worth USD 32,000 will eventually be used to strengthen the community disease surveillance system in the two districts when the current outbreak response activities come to an end.
The terrain and road network in Kapchorwa and Kween have challenged responders to quickly reach MVD affected communities with vehicles which have made the preferred and convenient mode of travel.
“Logistical equipment such as motorcycles are very crucial during any disease outbreak,” said Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health while receiving the motorcycles at the MoH headquarters. “The motorcycles come at a crucial time when we are strengthening our disease surveillance system in order to tackle Marburg Virus Disease outbreak and other diseases of outbreak potential”, she added. She, therefore, appreciated the financial and technical support from WHO especially during the current outbreak.
The Acting WHO Representative in Uganda, Dr Jack Abdoulie commended the MoH for mounting an effective outbreak response against the deadly MVD which has so far been confined to Kapchorwa and Kween districts and in only one community. “Uganda has played a significant role in the control of disease outbreaks not only in the country but also in supporting other countries in the region”, he said. Dr Jack commended the work done by the mobile disease surveillance team noting that “It is crucial for detection and communication with the health workers not only in the affected districts but also all health facilities throughout the country.” He hoped that the motorcycles will further strengthen their activities and reaffirmed WHO’s commitment to support to the government to improve the lives of the people.
As of today, there is one probable and two confirmed cases of MVD in Uganda. A total of 230 contacts were listed and have been followed up daily to see if any of them develops signs and symptoms of Marburg for quick treatment and containment. Luckily all the contacts have finished the mandatory 21 days without any problem bringing the possibility of quick containment even nearer.