Care and Assistance for forced Migrants (CAFOMI) in partnership with Malteser International (MI) conducted capacity building trainings, radio talk shows and distributed WASH and IEC awareness materials to respond to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the districts at risk, those bordering Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) such as Kisoro, Matanda, Ntoroko, Kikuube, Arua and Kasese, respectively.

Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates in several African countries. It is spread by direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person infected with Ebola virus. It is also spread by contact with contaminated objects or infected animals.

“The first EVD outbreaks occurred in remote villages in Central Africa, near tropical rainforests. The 2014–2016 outbreaks in West Africa was the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the virus was first discovered in 1976. There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It also spread between countries, starting in Guinea then moving across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 1,900 lives lost and 2,900 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018. The outbreak is occurring in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Neighboring countries are taking steps to mitigate the risk of spread.” According to World health organization

In a bid to complement Government efforts in EVD response, CAFOMI  with support from MI distributed , 14,150 WASH materials and PPEs were Procured and distributed to support in the prevention of EVD, and these included, 1400 litres of Liquid Soaps, 1450 litres of Jeyz (Disinfectant), 450 kgs of Detergent Powder (Magic),  400 litres of Jik Disinfectant Solution, 100 pairs of Hand Gloves, 200 bottles of Hand Sanitizers, 500Mls, 100 litres of Rocket Disinfectant Solution, 100 litres of Hydrogen peroxide solutions, 70 pieces of Plastic disposal bins, 150 sets of Water proof protective suits, 200 pairs of Gumboots, 180 kgs of Chlorine, 7000 pieces of DPD Tablets, 70 pieces of  Hand Washing containers, 50L, 1300 bars of Laundry Soaps, White star, 150 litres of Fumigants, 330 pieces of Nose Masks, 250 pieces of eye gaggles, 150 pieces of Water proof Aprons and 100 tins of Vim Disinfectant. To address existing gaps in the response though due to the magnitude there is need for more.

An awareness and capacity building campaign has also been conducted in these locations by conducting radio talk shows and distributing 11 Metallic Sign boards and 6000 posters printed with Ebola Information to sensitize people in these locations about EVD. Capacity building trainings of District Health Teams (DHT), local leaders and the community was also conducted to equip DHTs with screening knowledge and general knowledge to the community about EVD.

District Health Teams (DHTs) and leaders appreciated CAFOMI’s support towards the EVD prevention and preparedness response, but however highlighted challenges faced in their locations and requested for more support to bridge the gaps in the EVD response projects ongoing. 

According to Peter Byaruhanga, the Kikuube District surveillance focal person, they appreciate CAFOMI’s support for the WASH, PPE, awareness materials and facilitating the training, 25 heath workers were trained from different heath centres in the district and they will be sent to the points of entry to screen people coming from DRC.

“However, we still have some funding gaps especially the VHTs at points of entry still need support, and also to improve on the health standards of the screening points that is Buhuuka and Sebigoro.” Byaruhanga added.

“I am very grateful for CAFOMI and Malteser International for supporting Kasese district in responding to Ebola threat, there is still need to continue conducting social mobilization and risk communication in order to reach the whole district,” Yusuf Baseka, Kasese District Health Officer.

“I’m very pleased to attend this training on Ebola prevention and preparedness and I promise to share the knowledge gained with the rest of my colleagues who did not attend the training back at the health centre,” Juliet Kemigisha, clinical officer, Kikuube healthy centre IV. 

Overall activities under EVD response are well underway. CAFOMI team is very dedicated and is closely collaborating with communities and local stakeholders in risk management and social mobilization. In the locations at the EVD risk, the Health stake holders and Local governments are appreciative of CAFOMI’s contribution to the response.

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