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AfDB approves $1m Grant to Stem Ebola Transmission in Uganda

The African Development Bank has released a $1 million grant to Uganda to help the East African country to tackle an outbreak of the Ebola virus, official report stated.The report discloses that the grant will be used to support Uganda’s National Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) Preparedness and Response Plan, was approved in January. Funds have been disbursed through the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the implementing agency.

The grant follows a request by the Government of Uganda to the African Development Bank to support the country’s efforts in containing the Ebola virus. The Bank is working with Uganda’s Ministry of Health, and the WHO, a specialized agency of the United Nations on health-related issues, the AfDB report stated.

The African Development Bank, Uganda Country Manager, Kennedy Mbekeani, Uganda’s Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, and Dr. Rebecca Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s Regional Director for Africa signed an agreement.

The funds will be used for the management of suspected and confirmed EVD cases in Uganda, including the procurement and distribution of medical supplies, and care of people affected by Ebola. The grant will also be used to strengthen readiness and capacity at the national level and in high-risk districts, including training and emergency support. With this support, response teams will be quickly deployed and surveillance of the disease will be strengthened, the report noted.

The Bank praised the Ugandan government for its vigilance, and called upon other development partners to support its efforts to stem transmission of Ebola infection and prevent new outbreaks in non-affected areas.

The Government of Uganda’s request for emergency relief assistance will help to save and protect lives, and restore the normal livelihoods and economic activity of people in 31 districts in the country. The request falls within the Bank’s revised policy guidelines and procedures for emergency relief assistance.

Ebola Scourge in Uganda

Ebola has popped up multiple times in Central Africa since it was first identified in 1976. The worst outbreak was in Uganda in 2000 and 2001, when 574 people were infected and 261 died. The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has infected more than 2,000 people, killing at least 1,390 of them.

The Ugandan Ministry of Health (MoH) on 11 June 2019, confirmed a case of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Kasese district, Uganda. The patient is a 5-year-old child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who travelled with his family from the Mabalako Health Zone in Democratic Republic of the Congo after attending, on 1 June 2019, the funeral of his grandfather (confirmed EVD case on 2 June 2019).

Ebola tests the resilience of Uganda’s cross-border trade. People regularly cross into and out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) along Uganda’s southwestern border. They come to sell goods at Ugandan markets, to visit family, to seek health care, or to seek refuge from the ongoing conflict in DRC.

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