The current Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), close to the DRC-Uganda border was declared on August 1.

DRC map
Democratic Republic of the Congo/CIA

As of 25th September 2018, a total of 151 cases of EVD had been reported to WHO by DRC; of these, 120 are confirmed and 31 are probable; 101 deaths have been reported while an additional 17 suspects were under investigations.

The epicentre of the current outbreak is close to Uganda’s border to the West, with a lot of cross-border movements. Natives from both countries cross to engage in business, attend school, access health care and social services.

In that regard, with 22 at-risk districts identified, MoH and partners have implemented Ebola preparedness and readiness activities to prevent the disease from crossing into Uganda, and to ensure early detection of the disease should it be imported.

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The activities include coordinating the preparedness activities, strengthening surveillance, capacity building in contact tracing, laboratory diagnostics, Infection Prevention, and Control, clinical management of patients including psycho-social care. Safe and dignified burials, enhanced risk communication and community engagement, and cross-border surveillance are also part of the activities.

In related news, in response to the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the EU is assisting the Red Cross to reinforce preparedness in Uganda and Rwanda.

The EU will provide humanitarian funding amounting to €100 000 (€40 000 for Rwanda and €60 000 for Uganda) to prevent the transmission of the virus from DRC, and to support the detection of Ebola cases. The funds will support preparedness and prevention measures by the Rwandan Red Cross and the Ugandan Red Cross in at risk districts.

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We can never be complacent when it comes to health threats such as Ebola. The EU has been at the forefront of efforts to contain its spread and treat those affected by the virus. We have mobilised the EU emergency response mechanisms, provided logistical support and contributed to vaccine development. Our support to the Rwandan Red Cross and the Ugandan Red Cross will help take much needed action to prevent the epidemic from spreading cross border,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and the EU Ebola Coordinator Christos Stylianides.