• The sixth of November marked 48 days of responding to the Ebola outbreak in the country since confirmation of the first case on 19 September.

• The high case fatality rate among children is a major concern to UNICEF and partners (55 per cent compared to overall case fatality rate of 40 per cent).

• 36 health workers in three districts of Mubende, Kyegegwa and Kassanda have been trained on how to provide Mental Health Psychosocial (MHPSS) services to individuals in ETUs and isolation centers.

• 1,832,057 people were reached through accurate, cultural and genderappropriate EVD messaging on infection prevention, early treatment and access to services.

• 2,000 Infra-red thermometers have been distributed to 666 schools in the districts of Mubende, Kassanda and Kampala in order to improve screening and early identification of cases in schools.

• The UNICEF EVD response plan is costed at US$18.2 million and has a funding gap of 66 per cent.

Situation overview and humanitarian needs

According to Ministry of Health (MoH) reports, 06 November marked 48 days of responding to the Ebola outbreak in the country since the confirmation of the first case on 19 September and declaration of an outbreak on 20 September. A total of 132 confirmed Ebola cases with 53 confirmed deaths (case fatality rate of 40 per cent) and 61 recoveries had been reported as of 05 November. 18 children and six health workers are among the confirmed deaths. Three positive run away cases have not been traced up to now, surveillance team is still following up. Ebola infections are confirmed in eight districts: Masaka, Kampala, Wakiso, Kagadi, Mubende, Kyegegwa, Kassanda and Bunyangabu. MoH attributes the spread of the virus to movements of contacts and symptomatic individuals for health services. UNICEF is mobilizing teams to contain the spread of the virus in Masaka.

UNICEF is supporting the scaling up of risk communication and community engagement to reinforce early reporting and treatment seeking and adherence to case management and infection prevention protocols such as isolation. Further focus on mental health and psychosocial support is critical for preventing and addressing stigma to families affected by Ebola and for the reintegration of survivors within the communities. The Ministry of Health, with support from partners has established an Ebola Survivor’s programme that aims to provide integrated health, psychosocial care and other services to survivors.

There are presently five operational ETUs (Mubende RRH, Madudu HCIII, Kaweere, Entebbe and J-Medic facility in Fort Portal) and four designated isolation centres (Madudu, Mulago, Kiruddu and Entebbe) established in response to the outbreak. A new ETU will be established in Kassanda district in response to the increase in cases reported in the district.

All schools in high-risk districts remain open and learning is continuing with the roll out of Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) and MoH guidance on strict observance of infection and prevention measures. A total of eleven schoolgoing children were reported positive for EVD from the districts of Mubende, Kassanda, Kyegeggwa and Kampala.

Currently, 170 learners from three schools in Kampala are in home isolation, where a team from the Kampala City Authority is closely monitoring them.

The public health and social measures announced by the President of Uganda in mid October to curb Ebola transmission have been extended for an additional 21 days upto 25 November 2022. These include prohibition of movements into and out of Mubende and Kassanda districts, curfew (07:00pm-06:00am) and a restriction on the movement of public transport, private transport and boda-bodas for a period of 21 days, starting 16 October 2022. In addition, on 28 October 2022, the MoH issued a directive stating that all contacts to confirmed cases are not allowed to travel locally or internationally for 21 days.

According to WHO report dated 28 October 2022, the country risk is being elevated from high to very high given the geographical expansion of Ebola positive cases to urban settings. In addition, the risk to the region has been increased from low to high, given the high cross border movement. The global risk remains low. Six neighbouring countries have stepped up their readiness actions, including Burundi, the Democractic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Source: UN Children’s Fund

By pr.web