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Uganda

Médecins Sans Frontières  (MSF) first worked in Uganda in 1986. Today, our teams in Uganda provide HIV care and support victims of sexual and gender-based violence. We also offer sexual and reproductive health services tailored to the younger patients’ needs in our Kasese Youth Clinic.

OUR WORK IN UGANDA IN 2021 

Supporting the response to 2022 Ebola outbreak 

Since September 20, 2022, the day the Ebola epidemic was declared in Uganda, MSF has been working alongside the Ministry of Health to support medical care in the country. 

 We already know that the fight against this Ebola outbreak will bring several challenges and it will force all stakeholders to design a response adapted to the relatively rare strain of Ebola Sudan. Unlike the Zaire strain, there is for example no vaccine nor treatment proven effective so far. Vaccine candidates and antiviral treatment exist, but at an experimental stage. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) are getting ready to set-up clinic trials soon and MSF expressed its availability to support.

What we can say from our experience responding to Ebola outbreaks is that other factors are of great influence on the epidemiologic trend and that this is crucial to work on these aspects to contain the disease. These are for example:  

  •  The sooner the patients are admitted in a treatment centre, the better are their chance of survival. It is therefore necessary to integrate our approach in the health system, close to the patient’s home, for contract tracing, the right communication, the capacity to isolate and to deliver the initial health care when needed.  
  • The information and participation in the response by the population itself: since there are no symptoms specific to Ebola, this is essential that people infected by the virus have access to health care at the earliest stage of the disease. In that sense, we must support the health facilities to continue delivering all non ebola care (malaria, respiratory diseases, maternal health etc.) 
  • Sampling and laboratory capacities that should also be close to where the suspect cases are to enable rapid transportation of the samples and rapid results, 
  • The infection prevention and control measures to avoid contamination inside health facilities, along with the sensitization of health care workers regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and contamination route,

What is MSF doing? 

MSF is focusing its response on three areas. Teams of doctors, nurses, logisticians, infection prevention and control (IPC) specialists, and health promoters are currently working to limit the spread of the epidemic, reduce mortality, and facilitate epidemiological monitoring, research, and innovation.

  • MSF is focusing its intervention on the prevention of the spread of the outbreak via an outreach project in Mubende and surrounding districts to reduce the time between the onset of the symptoms and admission to a health facility. Similar work is also now being undertaken in Kampala.This outreach project entails health promotion, infection prevention and control, investigation, contact tracing, and social support to contacts who have to self-isolate.
  • MSF is also working to reduce mortality via case management with a a decentralised approach in one 40-bed Ebola Treatment Centre in Mubende, and a second 39-bed facility which received the first patient on 7th November. In addition, MSF has constructed an eight-bed Ebola Treatment Unit in Madudu and Bweyongedde, and an isolation unit in Kasanda close to the epicetre of the outbreak.
  • MSF is currently constructing a 64-bed facility in Kampala and a 24-bed facility in Kawago, in the Kasanda district.
  • Epicentre is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, in support of epidemiological activities, including surveillance and infection control and prevention.
  • In Kampala, the country's capital, MSF is implementing health promotion, social support for people in contact with Ebola patients, support to health structures in terms of prevention and control of infections and non-Ebola related health care and is available to support the Ugandan Ministry of Health to treat people with Ebola if needed.

MORE ON THE HISTORY, CAUSES AND TREATMENT OF EBOLA

11/01/2023

End of Ebola in Uganda

The Ugandan Ministry of Health has today (11 January) declared the end of the seventh Ebola outbreak which started on 20 September 2022.

The 32-bed Ebola treatment centre near the Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda
13/12/2022

Ebola: Uganda’s outbreak response capacity boosted as MSF completes Ebola treatment centre in Kampala

Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF), has completed a new 32-bed Ebola treatment centre next to the capital’s Mulago National Referral Hospital

27/11/2022

Ebola: Health promotion is key

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are involved in supporting the Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ebola case management and are carrying out health promotion, a major pillar in fighting the disease. Outreach activities take place in Mubende and Kasanda, where the first cases were identified this September, and in Kampala and Masaka.

Embedded thumbnail for Walk through an Ebola treatment centre in Uganda
11/11/2022

Walk through an Ebola treatment centre in Uganda

Watch to see what an Ebola Treatment Centre looks like
MSF staff discuss the plans for a 39-bed Ebola Treatment Centre in Mubende [© MSF/Sam Taylor]
25/10/2022

What is MSF doing in Uganda, one month after the declaration of the Ebola epidemic?

As of October 23, 90 patients were confirmed with Ebola and 28 people were reported to have died from the disease

05/10/2022

Ebola in Uganda: Four things you need to know

The Ugandan Ministry of Health has confirmed 43 cases of Ebola and reported 29 deaths (nine confirmed deaths from the disease and 20 probable). MSF is working with the Ministry of Health to set up an initial emergency response to help stop the disease from spreading further.

At the ebola treatment unit in Mubende hospital, Uganda [© Augustin Westphal/MSF]
24/09/2022

Uganda: MSF responds to Ebola outbreak

MSF has set up treatment units in Mubende and Madudu 

20/06/2022

From child refugee to MSF HR manager - the story of Moses Soro

"Because without MSF, maybe I’d be dead. Like my brothers, like my cousins, like all the people who didn’t make it "

Pages

Uganda

Médecins Sans Frontières  (MSF) first worked in Uganda in 1986. Today, our teams in Uganda provide HIV care and support victims of sexual and gender-based violence. We also offer sexual and reproductive health services tailored to the younger patients’ needs in our Kasese Youth Clinic.

OUR WORK IN UGANDA IN 2021 

Supporting the response to 2022 Ebola outbreak 

Since September 20, 2022, the day the Ebola epidemic was declared in Uganda, MSF has been working alongside the Ministry of Health to support medical care in the country. 

 We already know that the fight against this Ebola outbreak will bring several challenges and it will force all stakeholders to design a response adapted to the relatively rare strain of Ebola Sudan. Unlike the Zaire strain, there is for example no vaccine nor treatment proven effective so far. Vaccine candidates and antiviral treatment exist, but at an experimental stage. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Uganda Ministry of Health (MOH) are getting ready to set-up clinic trials soon and MSF expressed its availability to support.

What we can say from our experience responding to Ebola outbreaks is that other factors are of great influence on the epidemiologic trend and that this is crucial to work on these aspects to contain the disease. These are for example:  

  •  The sooner the patients are admitted in a treatment centre, the better are their chance of survival. It is therefore necessary to integrate our approach in the health system, close to the patient’s home, for contract tracing, the right communication, the capacity to isolate and to deliver the initial health care when needed.  
  • The information and participation in the response by the population itself: since there are no symptoms specific to Ebola, this is essential that people infected by the virus have access to health care at the earliest stage of the disease. In that sense, we must support the health facilities to continue delivering all non ebola care (malaria, respiratory diseases, maternal health etc.) 
  • Sampling and laboratory capacities that should also be close to where the suspect cases are to enable rapid transportation of the samples and rapid results, 
  • The infection prevention and control measures to avoid contamination inside health facilities, along with the sensitization of health care workers regarding the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and contamination route,

What is MSF doing? 

MSF is focusing its response on three areas. Teams of doctors, nurses, logisticians, infection prevention and control (IPC) specialists, and health promoters are currently working to limit the spread of the epidemic, reduce mortality, and facilitate epidemiological monitoring, research, and innovation.

  • MSF is focusing its intervention on the prevention of the spread of the outbreak via an outreach project in Mubende and surrounding districts to reduce the time between the onset of the symptoms and admission to a health facility. Similar work is also now being undertaken in Kampala.This outreach project entails health promotion, infection prevention and control, investigation, contact tracing, and social support to contacts who have to self-isolate.
  • MSF is also working to reduce mortality via case management with a a decentralised approach in one 40-bed Ebola Treatment Centre in Mubende, and a second 39-bed facility which received the first patient on 7th November. In addition, MSF has constructed an eight-bed Ebola Treatment Unit in Madudu and Bweyongedde, and an isolation unit in Kasanda close to the epicetre of the outbreak.
  • MSF is currently constructing a 64-bed facility in Kampala and a 24-bed facility in Kawago, in the Kasanda district.
  • Epicentre is collaborating with the Ministry of Health, in support of epidemiological activities, including surveillance and infection control and prevention.
  • In Kampala, the country's capital, MSF is implementing health promotion, social support for people in contact with Ebola patients, support to health structures in terms of prevention and control of infections and non-Ebola related health care and is available to support the Ugandan Ministry of Health to treat people with Ebola if needed.

MORE ON THE HISTORY, CAUSES AND TREATMENT OF EBOLA