Atul cast doubts on the effectiveness because there is limited experience with them in regards to the Ebola Sudan strain but this would be proven by the clinical trials that have been approved by the Ministry of health.
The US has also provided therapeutics to Uganda. Experimental monoclonal antibodies have been administered to seven health workers who were suffering from Ebola. They are being used under compassion use.
Medics say that the Ebola virus can be found in the bodies of patients who die of the disease and it is easily transmitted through direct handling of human remains without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is recommended that only personnel trained in handling infected human remains should touch or move any human remains from a person who has died from Ebola.
Even when handling the body of a person who has died from Ebola, they are advised against washing or cleaning the body, embalming, performing an autopsy and the removal of any inserted medical equipment from the body such as intravenous (IV) lines, endotracheal or any other tubing, or implanted electronic medical devices.
Aceng worries that Kassanda still faces a lot of challenges to control the virus since its residents have not yet owned the diseases with some running away to other areas when they get suspicious symptoms whereas others associating their sickness to witchcraft.
Kassanda Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Phoebe Namulindwa reported to the minister that they still face a challenge of denial where sections of the community still believe the outbreak is not real, but a concoction by the government, which is further worsened by reckless statements from politicians from the area that making suspicious matters worse.
As a result, while Kassanda had recorded only 15 cases by the time president Museveni declared a lockdown more than two weeks ago, cases have since hiked to 47 by Tuesday, 1st November, making the area the new epicentre for the disease.
Comparably, Mubende district which was previously the epicentre is recording a decline in cases with only two cases in the last week.
Aceng says the Kassanda situation is worsened by the fact that the youth are still engaging in risky behaviour and accounting for the biggest number of positives picked.
She says this is against the fact that the district has a very weak health system and has only now appointed a District Health Officer to help coordinate the response. They also don’t have an Ebola treatment centre yet.
Dr. Aceng during a televised interview broadcast on Sunday, Dr. Aceng proposed that the education ministry should consider ending the term earlier for non-candidate classes to reduce the risk of the disease spreading in schools.
However, the comment raised eyebrows among parents and educationists saying that with the schools returning from unprecedented school closure that lasted for two years during the pandemic, a fresh school closure should be a last resort option.
While speaking to residents of Kassanda at Kalwana Church of Uganda on Tuesday, Dr. Aceng assured parents, said that schools will not be disrupted despite the rise in cases of Ebola virus disease.
Aceng added that students exhibiting symptoms should stay at home and alert authorities to pick them up. She added that anyone who becomes ill at school should notify the medical staff right away so that they can evacuate them for testing.
Last week, the Ministry of Health announced that at least six pupils from three schools in Rubaga Division in Kampala were among the 47 Ebola patients fighting for their lives at various treatment centres in the country.
When President Yoweri Museveni ordered among others; the freezing of movement of vehicles, Boda Bodas, and people from Mubende and Kassanda to other districts due to the outbreak of Ebola, schools were left open.
However, the education ministry instructed schools in and out of Mubende and Kassanda to reinstitute the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures in order to stop the potential spread of both diseases in school communities.
The precautions included restricting access to visitors, but many schools outside the two districts did not take the advice seriously. Even recently when the ministry emphasized on the ban on visitors many schools defied the directive.
The State Minister for Higher Education, John Chrysostom Muyingo also said that headteachers and parents should take the guideline seriously to ensure the safety of learners, teachers, and other staff in schools.
The United States Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown said they have decided to provide direct funding to other donors and agencies involved in activities to curtail the further spread of the Ebola virus. The government had sighed that the funding is extended to these through it.
Brown says the US has extended $22.3 million US Dollars, (UGX 83 billion Shillings) to Uganda since the Ebola outbreak was declared on September 20, 2022. Of this money, $5.5 million US Dollars has been allocated to Baylor Uganda for activities relating to contact tracing, alert management, and training laboratory staff on infection prevention and control.
Another $3.8 million US Dollars has been allocated to the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) to offer emergency medical services and support dignified burials whereas $6.4 million US Dollars has been offered to UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF for coordination, waste management, supporting survivors, and community engagement among others.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Ambassador Natalie said they had already released six million US Dollars to the Ministry of Health and dispatched the bulk of the money through other entities due to the concern that most of the money released to the government ends on unrelated projects.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has appealed to parliament to allocate money directly to her team in order to implement control activities on time. In a statement on Wednesday, the minister said since the beginning of the outbreak, no funds had been provided to support the response of the ministry despite, a clear response plan, which is affecting the speed of the response.
“Partners usually inquire about government input before they declare their resources. We are seeing partners declaring resources mobilized on social media, which resources we do not have information about”, Aceng’s statement reads in part saying that they need UGX 76 billion Shillings.
Brown says considering how expensive the response is, the government needs to allocate money to the ministry as combating the epidemic requires collective effort.