On Thursday, the secretariat of the East African Community (EAC) urged its countries to enhance emergency preparedness and response activities following an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Uganda.
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On Sept. 20, Uganda declared an outbreak of Ebola after a case of the Sudan ebolavirus was confirmed in Mubende district in the central part of the country. The EAC secretariat urged the member states to enhance surveillance and laboratory testing, especially in border areas.
The EAC secretariat also urged the member states to implement appropriate infection prevention and control measures and increase risk communication and community awareness of the disease.
Anthony Kafumbe, the EAC acting deputy secretary general for Productive and Social sectors, asked the EAC member states to consider the deployment of the EAC mobile laboratories to strategic outbreak hotspots and at various border points of entry, said the statement.
"This shall enhance screening of the suspected cases as these mobile laboratories have the capabilities to handle such level three and level four pathogens," said Kafumbe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) expressed optimism about Uganda's ability to tackle the epidemic and is helping local authorities investigate and deploy staff to the affected area.
Currently, the EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.