‘Ebola is real’: Uganda to trial vaccines and shut schools early to contain outbreak Read more
As the virus entered the Democratic Republic of Congo, an outbreak was brewing in an African region not far from Uganda. But as the virus has spread to new locations and new people, it has raised more questions about the role and effectiveness of the vaccine. The outbreak was declared on 13 July after more than 28,000 people in West Africa had been infected, and it spread rapidly across neighbouring countries. In response, Uganda was quick to say its people would not be targeted, but that the DRC’s health system would have no part of an outbreak.
As of Friday, the health minister had visited Congo, along with representatives of the national and international health ministries, to meet to discuss the response. He said the government was working to contain the virus, and would take all reasonable precautions to do so.
As the virus entered the DRC in early April, the head of Uganda’s health department, Dr. Michael Sata, met with the minister of public health, who informed him that most of the cases in the country had come from Uganda, a country that had not received aid from the Ebola response fund. In subsequent weeks, Uganda lost almost 200 suspected Ebola cases, and many more were never diagnosed.
“They said that Ebola virus had spread to Uganda, and we had to prepare ourselves. But the government didn’t react, they did nothing,” Sata said in an interview with the Guardian.
Sata said they did know that Congo was not a part of their country, but that he had been made aware that there was no health system that could be trusted.
“The health minister, a senior minister of health, I met him and he told me there was no system to deal with Ebola. So, he asked me to prepare the country, to prepare people, they should all be prepared,” Sata said. “He told me we have enough capacity in the country, but people do not believe us, that when something happens, we will not know what they have done. So, we need to tell the country ‘here is what you need to