By John Agaba
The United States Department of Defense is partnering with the health ministry to improve regional surveillance of deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg and Ebola.
This was revealed Thursday by the health ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Asuman Lukwago, during the occasion to hand over 19 vehicles to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of health activities in the country.
Lukwago said a team of experts from the US Defense Department had already touched base in the country and was setting up structures on effective monitoring and control of the deadly fevers.
He said they are going to put epidemiologists (health experts) in every region of the country to constantly be on the lookout for any outbreak.
“In case any disease breaks up, these epidemiologists will be able to detect it very fast,” said Lukwago.
He said they were also working with the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so for any disease outbreak, samples can be taken at the Institute and diagnosis done quickly.
A statement from the CDC, also released yesterday, read that preventing, detecting and responding to outbreaks as early and effectively as possible was necessary to keep the world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.
The statement indicated that the CDC has been partnering with the health ministry to effectively monitor and control the deadly pathogens for the last six months. And that the partnership had resulted in improvements in disease detection and response.
Uganda has had its share of the deadly pathogens, the prominent cases being of Ebola and the Marburg virus which killed scores of people in Kabale district in 2012.