The Ministry of Health has received 10 motocycles from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Irish Embassy to enhance Ebola surveillance and community engagement.
The motocycles, according to Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the health minister, will also enable district officers to mentor health staff at the health facilities and in the communities on the identification of suspected Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases, conduct prompt investigations and raise community index of suspicion for EVD.
All the donated motorcycles will be deployed in the eight high-risk districts bordering the DR Congo – Bundibugyo, Bunyangabu, Kanungu, Kasese, Kisoro, Kanungu, Kabarole and Packwach.
According to Aceng, the donation is a great milestone in preparedness activities against the deadly EVD outbreak that is currently ravaging DR Congo.
“We must know that surveillance and community engagement in fighting Ebola are the backbone of an effective response to its outbreaks. These motorcycles will help to maneuver the difficult terrains in these districts,” she said on Friday at the Ministry’s headquarters.
Irish Ambassador to Uganda, William Carlos thanked minister Aceng, together with the frontline health officers who work tirelessly to see that Ebola is contained.
“Despite the challenging circumstances, a lot has been achieved to keep Ebola out of Uganda and this is attributed to the risks and challenges undertaken by the frontline health workers as well as such strong partnerships with the Government of Uganda,” he said.
While handing over the motorcycles, WHO country representative, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam lauded the government for the excellent coordination of a comprehensive preparedness exercise.
“As we hand over the motorcycles, we need to acknowledge the enormous needs for the mobility of responders in the districts to quickly cover up the communities with public health actions that reduce their vulnerability to EVD,” he said adding that Uganda has no confirmed case of EVD
The donation to boost Uganda’s Ebola preparedness activities comes at a time when EVD cases in the DRC have risen. As of May 1, a total of 1,495 cases were confirmed of which 984 succumbed to the disease.