After the confirmed cases of Ebola fever in the Kasese region in June 2019, experts from the “Rapid Health Experts Group (SEEG)” were sent to Uganda a few days later to examine in collaboration with the Ugandan Ministry of Health possible weaknesses in the outbreak region to better prepare for further Ebola cases. An urgent need for consumables was identified - including protective suits and masks, disinfectants and gloves.
The required equipment was procured by the SEEG and obtained in early August by the Ugandan Ministry of Health. Last weekend (24-25 August), approximately 11 tons of protective material were handed over to the District Health Officer in Kasese and are now available to health facilities on the Congolese border. This will protect health workers and staff at border crossings and screening sites, thereby reducing the risk of an renewed Ebola outbreak in Uganda.
At the request of the Ugandan Ministry of Health, SEEG experts also examined the capacity of laboratories in districts bordering the Democratic Republic of the Congo such as Kabale, Kisoro, Fort Portal and Hoima,, which would have to investigate a particularly large number of suspected cases, in case of a renewed outbreak. The review showed Uganda has well-equipped laboratories and hospitals and well-trained staff. Overall, the diagnostic capacities are at a high level.
The SEEG was founded by the BMZ in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Health in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014/15. Its mission is to help partner countries prepare and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases. The SEEG is a cooperation of the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM).