Wednesday, 6th December 2023

Uganda declares Ebola outbreak as Ghana ends Marburg

By Chukwuma Muanya (Lagos) and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja)
21 September 2022   |   2:45 am
Health authorities in Uganda have declared an outbreak of Ebola disease after a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

Monkeypox could spread, Nigerian scientists, warn
• ‘Over 61,000 cases in 104 non-endemic countries
• Stop TB Partnership tasks donors, govts on $18b Global Fund donation

Health authorities in Uganda have declared an outbreak of Ebola disease after a case of the relatively rare Sudan strain was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country.

The Uganda Virus Research Institute confirmed the case after testing a sample taken from a 24-year-old male.

This followed an investigation by the National Rapid Response team of six suspicious deaths that have occurred in the district this month.

MUBENDE, UGANDA РSEPTEMBER 20: Health measures are taken at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital after an outbreak of Ebola in the country in Mubende, Uganda on September 20, 2022. Uganda’s Health Ministry on Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in the country. Senior health official Dr. Diana Atwine told reporters one death related to Ebola has been recorded in the country’s central district of Mubende. Nicholas Kajoba / Anadolu Agency (Photo by Nicholas Kajoba / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

According to the health authorities, there are currently eight suspected cases that are receiving care in a health facility.

Speaking on the development, World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said this is the first time in more than a decade that Uganda is recording the Ebola Sudan strain.

“We are working closely with the national health authorities to investigate the source of this outbreak while supporting efforts to quickly roll out effective control measures. Uganda is no stranger to effective Ebola control. Thanks to its expertise, action has been taken to quickly detect the virus, and we can bank on this knowledge to halt the spread of infections,” he said.

THIS was as Ghana’s Ministry of Health declared the end of the Marburg virus outbreak after no new cases were reported over the past 42 days or two incubation periods (the time between infection and onset of symptoms.)

In total, three confirmed cases, including two deaths were recorded in the outbreak declared on July 7, 2022, after laboratory confirmation of the virus that affected the country’s Ashanti, Savannah and Western regions.

A total of 198 contacts were identified and monitored. These completed their recommended initial 2-day observation period, which was then extended for another 21 days out of an abundance of caution by the Ghanaian health authorities.

The Marburg outbreak in Ghana was the second of its kind in West Africa.

Guinea reported a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021. In Africa, previous outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda.

NIGERIAN scientists have warned that monkeypox could spread if it is neglected.

They also said more than 61,000 cases have been confirmed in 104 non-endemic countries under the current outbreak.

The scientists, in a new article published in the journal, Science, yesterday, provided perspectives on neglected diseases.

The study by a team of researchers, led by a virologist and pioneer Vice Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Prof. Oluwole Tomori, is titled, ‘Monkeypox: The consequences of neglecting a disease, anywhere.’

The researchers wrote: “There is a disparity in attention provision and engagement of preventive and treatment strategies in non-African and African countries. The apparent selective attention provided to the non-African countries despite longstanding and continued monkeypox virus (MPV) human transmissions in Africa highlights the global inequity in healthcare access and awareness.

“Furthermore, inadequate preventive, investigative, and therapeutic research-related engagements are also apparent in Africa’s prior MPV outbreak-related response.

“In order to curb MPV infections in endemic regions and prevent it from spreading elsewhere, a collaborative effort is warranted, aimed toward devising a global plan to identify MPV reservoirs and hosts, to better understand the epidemiology and transmissibility of the virus, and to developing affordable vaccines and drugs.

“The endemic countries should be imparted support by provision of sufficient infrastructure. Efforts should also be directed towards educating the public and communities about the disease and creating apt awareness regarding individual roles in preventing the spread of the virus.”

Also, the Stop TB Partnership has called on donors and governments of high-burden tuberculosis (TB) countries to pledge, at least, $18 billion to Global Fund and triple domestic investments in TB.

In a statement, yesterday, Executive Director of Stop TB Partnership, Dr. Lucica Ditiu, observed that pledges to end TB by 2030 are increasingly appearing as pipe dreams.

He urged world leaders meeting in New York for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment and the UN General Assembly to increase funding towards ending TB and other deadly infectious diseases.

In this article