The EU has announced a €3.5m emergency funding package for the prevention and treatment of Ebola in South Sudan and Uganda.
The EU has provided the Democratic Republic of Congo aid totalling €17m since the country’s most recent outbreak of Ebola began in August 2018; and Uganda’s first cases of Ebola – in a family who had travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to care for a relative who also had Ebola – surfaced this week. The EU’s Ebola crisis aid package will comprise €2.5m to Uganda and €1m to South Sudan and is aimed primarily at shoring up rapid detection capabilities and treatment facilities.
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and the EU’s Ebola coordinator, said: “We are doing all we can to save lives and stop further Ebola cases. Today, our main task is not only to help the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also assist neighbouring countries like Uganda. Here, our funding is helping with surveillance, work with local communities, and boosting local capacities for these countries to take timely and effective action. We are committed to continue our assistance to bring this outbreak to an end, for as long as it takes.”
The Ebola crisis aid package will go towards funding a variety of measures:
- Reinforcing disease surveillance at border crossing points, health facilities and in at-risk communities;
- Training and deployment of rapid response teams;
- Raising awareness of Ebola in local communities;
- Building local capacity for treatment of Ebola by providing equipment for medical facilities; and
- Training healthcare providers and frontline workers on prevention and control of infection, psychosocial support within communities, contact tracing and minimising contagion while interring infected bodies.
In light of the spread of Ebola from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, a committee of experts from the World Health Organisation will meet this Friday, 14 June, to determine whether to declare the outbreak to be a global health emergency.