The Ministry of Health will begin trials of three vaccines developed to fight the Ebola-Sudan virus which has killed 43 people.
The three vaccines Oxford from the United Kingdom, Sabin and Merck from the United States of America will be evaluated for their effectiveness.
This revelation was made by the Minister of State for Health (Primary Health Care), Hon. Margaret Muhanga, Wednesday, November 03, 2022.
Muhanga was briefing the House presided over by President Anita Among about the outbreak and containment measures.
“We plan to vaccinate contacts of 150 confirmed cases (3000) initially. The preparation for the trial has been completed and we estimate that we can start the trial in two weeks,” Muhanga said.
She added that the vaccine is needed as there is no known cure for Sudan Ebola virus.
Muhanga said a number of treatment options are being trialed by the ministry and the doses used in the treatment are still low.
Muhanga said the Ebola response has been met with resistance from communities due to myths and what she called the “politicization of the epidemic”.
“Some politicians, including those in this August House, confuse the public that there is no Ebola outbreak in this country, that this is government propaganda aimed at mobilize resources,” she said.
This angered President Anita Among who asked Muhanga to name the members who had made these statements.
“These are the people who encourage our people to go to wizards; we must name them and shame them. I want the name of the person who said this,” Parmi said adding that “we will need evidence to that effect and if it is true we refer the member to the Discipline Committee.
Muhanga filed a document which included quotes from the Member of Parliament for Rubaga North, Hon. Abubaker Kawalya during a talk show on CBS radio.
She dodged reports that accuse health workers of extorting money from Ebola patients, saying: “We do not believe that health workers would sacrifice their lives to care for people infected with Ebola and would put their lives on the line for money.” This negative talk is very discouraging and will lead to an explosion of cases even where we have made progress.”
MP for Kassanda North, Hon. Patrick Oshabe Nsamba, criticized the government for distributing the same amount of funds and food to non-quarantined districts instead of focusing resources on high epidemic burden districts.
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said his office was being guided by a technical assessment team to determine food distribution.
Deputy of Bugiri Municipality, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, called on the Minister of Health to provide legal documents that will guide the implementation of the ongoing lockdown in Mubende and Kassanda districts.
“We ask you to table before this Assembly the regulatory texts on Ebola to guide the police in the execution of the directives; when someone is arrested, they should be arrested and charged under a law,” Basalirwa said.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Ruth Aceng said the legal documents are ready and will be filed in the House.
She also praised her ministry for making efforts to find a cure for Ebola through vaccines.
“Ebola Sudan is only present in Uganda and South Sudan; this outbreak provides an opportunity to conduct trials so that people have something to protect them in the future,” Aceng said.
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