Marburg Outbreak: Health Ministry, WHO to Hold Cross Border Surveillance Meeting

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In short
Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng says their team of experts has been following up 2 cases including a turn-boy and an enrolled Nurse who cared for the second confirmed case but results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute UVRI shows that the two are free from the Marburg Virus Disease MVD.

The Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO) are set to hold an extraordinary meeting in Kapchorwa District on Tuesday to devise means of conducting cross border disease surveillance. 

The meeting comes at a time when Uganda is struggling to contain the deadly Marburg virus, which claimed the life of a 50-year-old woman from Chemuron village in Moyok Parish in Moyok Sub County in Kween District on October 17th, 2017. 

According to the press statement issued by the Health Minister, Ruth Jane Aceng, " The meeting, will among others, serve as a platform for sharing surveillance data, epidemiological and other related information, develop common plans for cross-border surveillance, epidemic preparedness and joint outbreak response to facilitate sharing of information and laboratory and other resources, synchronize outbreak response interventions and Joint designation of ground crossing points for the implementation of the International Health Regulations."

Despite this, the Health Ministry says as of today, there are no new reported cases or deaths related to the virus. Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng says their team of experts has been following up 2 cases including a turn-boy and an enrolled Nurse who cared for the second confirmed case but results from the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) shows that the two are free from the Marburg Virus Disease (MVD). 

The total number of contacts line listed on suspicion of having come into contact with Marburg currently stands at; 115 from Kween District and 16 from Kapchorwa District. However, none of them has developed Marburg like symptoms. 

In Kween District, a total of 127 contacts have completed their 21 - days follow up including 55 contacts to the probable case and 72 contacts to the 1st confirmed case according to the Ministry. 

The ministry says the multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder teams of experts will remain on ground in Kapchorwa and Kween Districts until the outbreak is fully contained. 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.