Ebola in Uganda: Red Cross and community members fight the spread of the virus

Nairobi/Kampala/Geneva, October 13, 2022 – Uganda is currently facing an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD). The first case of Ebola virus disease was reported on September 20, 2022 and the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) immediately activated an Ebola preparedness and response program to combat the spread.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an emergency appeal to scale up these activities, targeting 2.7 million people.

Robert Kwesiga, Secretary General of the Uganda Red Cross, said:

“We have trained our volunteers to organize safe and dignified burials and carry out health promotion activities. We directly engage communities with information about Ebola symptoms and how to prevent other risks, including early detection of new cases.”

Uganda’s last Ebola outbreak dates back to 2020, when more than ten districts experienced the wrath of the virus, especially areas near the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Regular cross-border communications, information sharing and support help mitigate risk and enable Red Cross Red Crescent teams in neighboring countries to carry out effective preparedness activities and scale up their responses, if necessary.

Papa Moussa Tall, IFRC Head of Delegation for Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan, said:

“Ebola is devastating for families, but I am relieved that we are able to offer experienced teams and lessons learned from past outbreaks to help. The IFRC, through its Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF), has activated resources to help the Uganda Red Cross respond quickly and save lives.”

The IFRC is urgently seeking 10 million Swiss francs to fill the gaps and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to URCS staff and volunteers, who are at the forefront of the Ebola response. The IFRC appeal will help meet these and other needs, such as strengthening the capacity of the URCS team to manage safe and dignified burials.

Big added: “The Red Cross has deployed ambulances to the most affected districts to support the rapid evacuation of probable cases to the nearest Ebola treatment centres.”

The Uganda Red Cross has over 500,000 volunteers and members spread across 51 branches and over 300 staff including a trained health service with health experts in areas directly related to the outbreak response . The IFRC’s Community Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness Program (CP3) is currently being implemented, with a focus on community preparedness for epidemics and pandemics. The Uganda Red Cross is part of the task force leading response efforts as the country battles the outbreak.

For more information please contact:

In Kampala: Irene Nakasiita, +256 755000695 / 774382583, [email protected]

In Nairobi: Rita Nyaga, +254 110 837154, [email protected]

In Geneva : Jenelle Eli, +1-202-603-6803, [email protected]

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