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NDA clears use of Ebola vaccines in Uganda

FILE PHOTO: Ebola vaccination.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Drug Authority and National Council for Science and Technology have finally approved the use of experimental Ebola treatment drugs in the country.

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, announced on Twitter that they got clearance from both Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and National Drug Authority to bring in the Therapeutic treatment for Ebola patients.

She said her Ministry had to get clearance because these are not yet accepted global treatments for Ebola. The treatments are expected to arrive anytime from now. Dr Aceng says the country is still in a state of response to the deadly disease.

“We no longer have any confirmed case of Ebola but we continue being in a state of response due to the nature of our porous borders and the relationship the people of Uganda have with those of the DRC,”

She said that the health ministry is currently watching 96 contacts for any symptoms of Ebola. Three cases of contacts are going to be vaccinated using Merck’s experimental vaccine.

The approval comes after almost two weeks after Uganda registered three cases of Ebola that is believed to have spread from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now World Health Organisation said it was ready to ship the experimental drugs to Uganda as one of the prevention measures.

Uganda last week confirmed three cases of Ebola but due to a lack of treatment, one confirmed case and family members had to be repatriated to DRC to get the life-saving treatments.

Uganda has been approved to use Mapping Biopharmaceutical Incorporated REGN-EB3 and Remdesivir both manufactured by Gilead Sciences. The Ministry of Health explained that the therapeutic approach to Ebola Virus Disease will focus on the implementation of experimental strategies.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry maintained that no Ebola case had been reported or confirmed in Mbarara as claimed by sections the media especially social media.

The Ministry said in a statement that the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital does not have any patient admitted and that Uganda had not registered any new confirmed Ebola case in Kasese District or any other part of Uganda since the last registered case four days ago.

“There are two new suspect cases who are under isolation at Bwera ETU. Blood samples were withdrawn from the suspect cases and sent to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) for testing and results are pending” reads the statement Currently, 92 contacts to the confirmed Ebola cases in Kagando and Bwera are being followed up daily.

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