Ebola trial treatment is safe and effective – Minister Aceng

Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng Ocero revealed Tuesday that the available trial treatment for the Ebola Sudan Virus is safe and effective. “The results [of the trial medicine] were good, we shall continue using it and we need it for information since there is no vaccine yet for the Sudan strain,” she said.

Aceng said this while discharging five (5) health workers from Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital Isolation Centre where they were being treated for Ebola.

The Ministry of Health said during the wake of the Ebola Sudan virus weeks back that this particular strain of the disease did not have any treatment or vaccine in place.

Following the intervention of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States government, a trial treatment of monoclonal antibodies and Remdesivir has been put to the test.

The Minister urged all the recovered cases to remain available for routine checks and further investigations which will help to track their progress. She also thanked the health workers for accepting to take the trial medicine.

The Ministry Permanent Secretary, Diana Atwine urged the general public to avoid misconceptions about the disease. “Some people still think Ebola is witchcraft and that is one of the components that is prolonging our response, we would have numbers going down by now.” She said.

The World Health Organisation Country Representative, Yonas Woldemariam lauded different partners for the support extended towards Uganda during the outbreak.

Minister Aceng calls for more funds to fight Ebola epidemic

While talking to the press, Aceng said the Ministry is in need of UGX 46 Billion more to successfully manage the Ebola outbreak and as well establish capacity to handle any viral outbreaks in the future.

Aceng denied a rumored rift between the Ministry and Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) amid the ongoing Ebola epidemic.

News has been making rounds that the Ministry denied UVRI access to patient samples and as well contracted another entity to do testing of suspected cases a role that has been done by UVRI in the past.

The Minister said there is need to prioritize patient care at the moment, hence the need to develop a public laboratory that can as make huge strides in patient care.

She however said samples will be availed to UVRI to stimulate research.

Kampala on heightened alert

Aceng revealed that Kampala and Wakiso remain on heightened alert after a contact of an Ebola victim traveled through Kampala and died at Kiruddu National Referral Hospital last week. At least 42 of the deceased’s contacts have been traced and quarantined.

Aceng also revealed that no cases of Ebola have been recorded in Kampala and Wakiso .

The minister further revealed that surveillance of the country’s capital continues as the viral disease continues to loom in five (5) districts including Mubende and Fort Portal.

According to figures availed by the Ministry of Health, a cumulative tally of 54 positive Ebola cases has been recorded. These include 19 deaths and 20 recoveries.

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