Kampala, Uganda | Xinhua | The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said urgent funds are needed to support the Ebola response in Uganda and the readiness in neighboring countries.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa told reporters that only 20 percent of the 88.2-million-U.S. dollar appeal has been collected.
“We plead that time is of the essence,” Matshidiso said as she concluded her three-day trip here where she was observing the country’s Ebola response.
She said since the Sudan strain of the virus was announced in the country on Sept. 20, it has now been detected in a ninth district, which has a large urban population. She noted that cities favor the spread of the virus due to their highly-mobile residents and often crowded environments.
WHO figures show since Sept. 20 when Uganda declared the Ebola outbreak, to date, there have been a total of 141 confirmed and 22 probable Ebola infections in Uganda, and 55 confirmed and 22 probable deaths.
“We, as partners, all need to expand and intensify our support to the response, so that we bring this outbreak to an end,” Matshidiso said.
She noted that the WHO Africa region office has deployed 80 experts to support the fast-paced response, and assisted Ugandan health authorities to deploy a further 150, including over 60 epidemiologists.
She said several health workers and village health teams have been trained in contact tracing and infection prevention and control in health facilities.
Personal Protective Equipment was also delivered to protect health workers caring for patients. “Most unfortunately, 19 health workers have already been infected, and tragically, seven of them have died,” Matshidiso said.