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Government Has Not Availed Any Funds for Ebola Treatment- Health Minister Aceng

The Minister of Health Dr. Jane Aceng has cried out over lack of funds from government to fight the deadly Ebola Outbreak in the country.

While making a statement on the outbreak of Ebola on the floor of Parliament, Aceng on Tuesday said that it is now 10 months ever since the country has been in the preparedness mode over Ebola but no funding has ever been received from government to manage the disease. She added that the ministry has been relying on development partners to fight the disease if it broke out.

“Managing or controlling the Ebola outbreak is so expensive, unfortunately for me, the Ministry of Finance has not given me any funds to respond to Ebola, never,” Aceng said.

Aceng said that she mobilized partners who were very willing to support and they were able to mobilize up to 8.6million dollars and that is what they have been using during the preparedness mode as well as facilitating the health workers at all the boarders. “We are now in a response mode, I don’t have any shilling; it is only the partners who are catering for the people at the boarders,” she said.

“The UPDF have never been facilitated to stay at the border, the Health workers at the border have now gone unpaid for the last four months but they are still at the border and I have been talking to partners, some of them are beginning to re-mobilize resources again to support us.”

Acheng further warned members that they should be aware that indeed Ebola kills and when they hear the word Ebola they should know that it means death which needs urgent respond. She added, “The availability of resources is a motivation to the response, when the resources are not there, it becomes extremely difficult.”

Apparently, over 4000 front line health workers have been vaccinated against Ebola in the high risk districts. Ebola Treatment Units and isolation facilities have been constructed and operationalized in the high-risk districts. She added that no new cases of Ebola have been registered.

“As of today, we have not registered any new confirmed Ebola case since the last registered case four days ago in Kasese District. As of 17th June, there are 2 new suspect cases who are under isolation at Bwera,” she said.

On Tuesday 11th June 2019, the Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in Kasese District, Western Uganda. The confirmed index case was a 5 year old boy who traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo with his mother on 10th June 2019.

The mother of the 5 year old is of Congolese origin but married to a Ugandan and they reside in Kasese District. However, she had traveled back to DRC to nurse her father who succumbed to Ebola. The child and his family entered the country through Bwera at an undesignated Border post and sought medical care at Kagando hospital as the child was not feeling well by the time they came into Uganda.

On 12th June, a grandmother of the deceased index Ebola case who traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 10th June, tested positive for Ebola and died at 4:00pm the same day. She was accorded a safe burial at a public cemetery in Kasese District.

On 13 June, the DRC team repatriated 5 people; mother of the deceased index case, the 3 year old confirmed Ebola case, her 6 month old baby and the maid, the father of the deceased index case. All the six people who entered Uganda from DRC have now been accounted for.

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