News / Health

Uganda Sends 20 Experts to Aid in Ebola Crisis

FILE - Doctors work in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Center for Disease Control in Entebbe.
FILE - Doctors work in a laboratory on collected samples of the Ebola virus at the Center for Disease Control in Entebbe.

Uganda, which has a history of containing Ebola outbreaks, has sent 20 of its experts to Sierra Leone and Liberia to help curb the spread of the disease. The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest ever. Late Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there have been at least 1,013 deaths.

West Africa has a new partner in the fight against the Ebola outbreak. Uganda’s Ministry of Health, in coordination with the WHO, has sent 20 of Uganda’s top health experts to West Africa.

Their specializations include epidemiology, case management, community education and psychosocial support. They flew to Sierra Leone and Liberia late last month to assist the overburdened governments in containing the disease.

Uganda has experience fighting Ebola with four major outbreaks in the past 10 years, all of which were contained.

During the last Uganda outbreak in 2012, public health initiatives, including recommendations by President Yoweri Museveni and the Ministry of Health, targeted social interactions.

Warnings were sent out daily, reminding people to avoid shaking hands, kissing and engaging burial rituals that included touching the body. Diagnostic testing was also improved, to more efficiently identify Ebola patients, while training for health workers and protective gear was supplied.

The WHO is hoping Uganda’s experts can bring a similar approach to the current outbreak in West Africa.

Doctor Solomon Fisseha, who is working on the project with the WHO in Uganda explains Uganda’s previous successes.

"Uganda has got very good experience on this management of viral hemorrhagic fevers. For example in 2012 we had almost four outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fevers in four districts, Ebola and Marburg. Since then the country has developed a good capacity. So if you look at the outbreaks that we have in Uganda for the last couple of years we have been able to manage it as early as possible, actually. Without even spread[ing] to neighboring countries," said Fisseha.

This Ebola outbreak has led to multiple border closures, while airline companies have also suspended or restricted flights to the West Africa region.

At the WHO, there is hope that a multifaceted approach will work.

"If you have the surveillance system in place and if you have the experts on the ground, and if you create the environment so that the community understands the risk, rather than trying to hide [they] will come out and inform the health workers and professionals so that appropriate measures can be taken. Because it’s very difficult to identify the patients unless they come in and report to you. So what makes the control very difficult, especially in West Africa, is that it happens for the first time and in a very remote area, and you can really understand the panic that it can create in the community and people will be likely to be resistant, so it will take you some time to convince the community and get them on board," said Fisseha.

The United States is also sending specialists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Agency for International Development. With a multi-national approach underway, health officials hope it will limit the spread of the deadly disease. 

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More