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EU injects UGX14bn into Ebola fight

Cross boarder meeting between Uganda and DRC on Ebola outbreak on June 12. (PHOTO/PML)

KAMPALA – The European Union has injected 3.5Euros approximately Shs14.8Bn to tackle the Ebola epidemic that has claimed two lives in Uganda.

The funds were announced in a press statement released today in which the European body detailed how the funds are to be used and said the move followed declaration of the outbreak in Uganda.

“The EU has announced further emergency funding of €3.5 million, of which €2.5 million is for Uganda and €1 million for South Sudan.”

The aid package will strengthen rapid detection and reaction to Ebola cases.

“Today’s funding comes on top of the €17 million in EU funding for Ebola response since 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and prevention and preparedness actions in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.” the EU revealed.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management the EU Ebola Coordinator said:

“We are doing all we can to save lives and stop further Ebola cases.”

He added that EU’s main task is not only to help the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also assist neighboring countries like Uganda.

“Here, our funding is helping with surveillance, work with local communities, and boosting local capacities for these countries to take timely and effective action.” He narrated.

“We are committed to continue our assistance to bring this outbreak to an end, for as long as it takes.” Christos assured.

The European Union said the funding is in co-ordination with other international donors and in line with the World Health Organization’s Regional Strategic Ebola Response and Preparedness Plans.

EU has specified the areas in which the funds will be spent including strengthening of disease surveillance at community level, health facilities and points of entry.

The funds will also assist in training of rapid response teams facilitate healthcare and frontline workers on contact-tracing, infection prevention and control measures, psychosocial support, and safe and dignified burials.

The funds will be used in areas of local capacity-building by equipping medical treatment facilities and community awareness-raising.

On 11th June 2019, the Minister of Health of Uganda confirmed that a first patient had tested positive of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Kasese district, located in the south-west of the country.

Given the high population mobility in the region between Ebola-affected areas in the DRC and neighboring countries, the threat of a cross-border transmission of the Ebola virus has always been evaluated by the World Health Organization as very high.

The EU also revealed that its Humanitarian Aid department along with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development is currently carrying out a field mission in South-West Uganda, with the participation of a regional health expert from the European Commission.

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