Uganda’s Health Minister, Dr. Jane Aceng, has disclosed that the country will be bringing in therapeutic treatment for Ebola virus in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO). This comes after WHO’s Director General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, met with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni on Monday.
As reported by the East African, the bilateral talks centred on potential interventions to end the Ebola outbreak in Kasese District and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Before his arrival in Uganda, the WHO chief had visited some areas affected by the outbreak in Eastern DRC.
After getting clearance from the National Council of Science and Technology and National Drugs Authority, the drug will be in the country in two weeks time. However, the health minister was quick to point out that the treatment is for trial and research purposes.
“It is still a trial drug. We can only administer it in a research. Uganda is ready to go. Our threat of Ebola has not reduced. We shall maintain ourselves in a response mode because the borders are still open and Ebola in DR Congo is not going down and the affected areas are near us,” Dr. Aceng noted.
According to the Director of Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Professor Pontiano Kaleebu, one of four types of Ebola drugs is made of antiviral antibodies which could increase the number of those who survive. That particular drug is better “compared to supportive treatment where they mainly use fluids and nutrition,” the Prof noted.
After three Ebola cases were confirmed in Uganda last week, two of which resulted in deaths, the country has not had any new case. But two people are displaying symptoms of the virus and they have been put under isolation at a Treatment Unit.
As at Monday, a total of 128 contacts and non-vaccinated frontline and health officers had been vaccinated. Meanwhile, 92 contacts to the confirmed Ebola cases in some areas are currently being followed up daily, the press statement released on Tuesday revealed.