The response to the Ebola epidemic that broke out at the end of July in w
The epidemic is centred in the district of Kibaale. So far, 17 people have died. Nine patients have been admitted to the treatment centre, which has been set up on the premises of Kagadi hospital. Two of the patients have been confirmed as having Ebola, and the others are under observation and awaiting test results. The good news is that last week about 20 people were discharged, including a woman who had contracted Ebola, recovered and was ready to return home.
Psychological support of patients
“The fight to contain the epidemic is a complex process, but the fact that hospital admissions are decreasing suggests that transmission is happening at a low level,” says Paul Roddy, MSF epidemiologist. “So far, the outbreak has reached a 27 per cent fatality rate.”
In order to control the epidemic, MSF worked in close collaboration with the Ugandan Ministry of Health and other organisations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Ugandan Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the challenges is the provision of psychosocial support to the patients and their families. MSF and authorities are working to help ensure that patients are not rejected by their community when they return home.
Raising awareness to prevent stigmatisation
“A man and three of his children had been admitted but the lab confirmed that they were not suffering from Ebola,” said Segimon Garcia, an information, communication and education officer. “An MoH [Ministry of Health] psychosocial team spoke with the neighbours of this family to explain that the family did not have Ebola. On 6 August, the family returned home in an MSF vehicle with psychologists in order to guarantee a proper reception.”
Ebola is a virus that was detected for the first time in humans in 1976 in