National Taskforce Set to Manage Rift Valley Fever Outbreak

2088 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The task force is comprised of officials from the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Water and Environment and Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA. It is supported by the World Health Organization-WHO and Centre for Disease Control-CDC.

The Ministry of Health has set up a multi-sectorial national taskforce to coordinate all efforts to control and manage the outbreak of rift valley fever in Kabale district.

The task force is comprised of officials from the Ministry of Health, Agriculture, Water and Environment and Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA. It is  supported by the World Health Organization-WHO  and Centre for Disease Control-CDC.

The development follows the confirmation of an outbreak of rift valley fever, a viral infection that primarily affects animals but also has the capacity to infect humans.  Up to five cases have so far been confirmed in Kabale district over the last three days.

The virus characterized by fever, severe illness and abortions is transmitted to humans through the handling of animal tissue during slaughtering, conducting veterinary procedures or from the disposal of carcasses or fetuses, according to the World Health Organization. Majority of human infections result from contact with blood or organs of infected animals and persons.

Dr Ruth Aceng, the Director General Health Services says the task force will conduct research, surveillance training of health workers in case management and conduct social mobilization on mechanism to contain the virus.
 
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Aceng adds that three more people have been reported to have signs of the disease bringing the number to five since it was reported four days ago.
 
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Dr Nicholas Kawuta, the Director of Animal Resources at the Ministry of Agriculture says the rift valley fever outbreak had been expected at the onset of El-nino rains. He however adds that the government has started working with the World Bank to vaccinate animals in Kabale and surrounding districts.
 
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About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).