Uganda trains military health workers to fight Ebola

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At the height of Ebola outbreak in Uganda, passengers had to queue to be screened at the Entebbe International Airport on May 15, 2018. Uganda has started training health workers in the military on surveillance and clinical management of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Xinhua

KAMPALA (Xinhua) – With support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Uganda’s Ministry of Health has started training health workers in the military on surveillance and clinical management of the deadly Ebola hemorrhagic fever.

According to a statement released by the WHO Monday, when Uganda had its first Ebola outbreak in 2000, the armed forces have always been part and parcel of the country’s response strategy and activities.

The global health body said that as the Ebola situation continues to worsen in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the military will be part of the response plan if the disease spreads to Uganda.

“The training provides an opportunity to build their capacity to be able to effectively detect, investigate, and report suspected Ebola cases,” the statement said.

“They will also be equipped with skills in principles of managing Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHF) including management of suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola patients, and provision of psychological support and infection prevention and control,” it added.

The organisation said the training comes in the wake of increasing Ebola cases in the DRC where 267 cumulative cases with 170 deaths had been recorded by Oct. 28.

“The epicenter for the current outbreak is close to the very porous Uganda-DRC border which makes importation of cases highly likely,” the WHO said. “Additionally, communities at the border are closely linked through kinship, culture, religion and even trade making close interaction a daily occurrence.”

The five-day training conducted in the central region district of Mukono follows similar ones that the WHO and the Ministry of Health have conducted in the high-risk districts in which over 100 health workers have been trained on Ebola.

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