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USAID boosts Ebola fight with UGX 5.5 billion

FILE PHOTO: Ebola vaccination

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has boosted Uganda’s Ebola efforts with a donation of 5.5 Billion shillings.

The committed funds will be spent in supporting the Ministry of Health conduct surveillance at its border with Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patricia Rader, the head of USAID in Uganda says the assistance is for strengthening health preparedness necessary for preventing major outbreak of Ebola in Uganda.

Rader says since 2015, USAID has spent 80 Billion shillings or US$ 22 Million in supporting the Ministry of health deal with Ebola threats and emerging pandemic diseases. She says the US Mission in Uganda is very firm on ground to support Uganda’s efforts against Ebola threats and other health emergencies including Cholera.

Dr Lisa Nelson, the head of the US Center for Disease Control says the US Mission is supporting the Ministry of Health Ebola task-force financially and technically to better respond to Ebola emergencies.

Dr Lisa says through partnership with the National Ebola Task Force, the Center for Disease Control assisted the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in testing more than 600 Ebola surveillance samples collected from the porous border with DR Congo in which Four were confirmed to be Ebola.

She says they are currently engaged in building a strong global health security system, laboratories and continuous health workforce training for enhancing healthcare in the country.

Dr Lisa explains that the US Mission through Center for Disease Control is also supporting the Public Health Emergency Operation Center activated for Ebola and other infectious diseases such as Cholera in Naguru Hospital, Entebbe International Airport and Kisoro district.

In Malaria Control programs, the US Mission says it will continue supporting three critical interventions that have proven effective in reducing cases of Malaria among communities.

The interventions are distribution and use of long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets, awareness creation and indoor residual spraying which protected 4 Million people last year.

Deborah Malac, the US Ambassador says the Mission is currently planning the Malaria Control operations for the next year to continue the interventions. She said it is still unclear how much will be spent on the interventions.

In 2018, the US Mission spent 1.9 trillion shillings in the Health Sector supporting programs for controlling and treating HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria and health workers’ training amongst others.

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