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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora