By Hamza Kyeyune
KAMPALA, Uganda (AA) - Health officials in Uganda, including those from the World Health Organization (WHO), reiterated on Monday that they have been mobilizing and seeking funds to control an Ebola outbreak in the country.
Authorities called on international donors to contribute $18 million to contain the outbreak for the next three months.
“Uganda is still isolated in the struggle to address this new threat despite the world having just endured the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as a global health security problem.
"There has been an increased focus on the need for pandemic preparedness, resilient health systems, and a well-protected workforce to respond successfully to threats. However, the global response is not to the level of the threat we know Ebola to be to Uganda and the rest of the world,” Uganda’s Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said.
The call came as the caseload exceeded 40, with almost 900 contacts listed for follow up.
Uganda’s economy is sustained by agriculture, it relies heavily on external investments, which lead to higher debt servicing.
Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldermariam, the WHO representative to Uganda, said he is worried the money being sought might not cover all costs.
“If we go into the preparedness, we are talking, even for the three months, three times or four times that amount,” he said. “Plus, there are things which we take for granted, assuming the system will provide them. Those are additional costs like transportation, like fuel, like human resources, which we have to consider to also fund as we go ahead.”
On Sept. 20, Uganda’s health authorities declared an outbreak of Ebola, cumulative cases are currently 41, confirmed deaths are nine, with many more probable cases as a result of Ebola.