Uganda on Wednesday has declared the end of its latest Ebola outbreak which killed 55 people. Uganda’s government and the World Health Organization made the announcement.
Health Minister Ruth Aceng told journalists that no new cases had been registered in the past 42 days –twice the incubation period of Ebola.
‘We have successfully controlled the spread of Ebola in Uganda,’ Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng said on Wednesday during a ceremony to mark the outbreak’s end.
Also confirming the end of the outbreak, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Africa director for the World Health Organisation said;
‘With no vaccines and therapeutics, this was one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks in the past five years, but Uganda stayed the course and continuously fine-tuned its response.
‘Two months ago, it looked as if Ebola would cast a dark shadow over the country well into 2023, as the outbreak reached major cities such as Kampala and Jinja, but this win starts off the year on a note of great hope for Africa.’
The outbreak reportedly killed 55 of the 143 people infected since September 2022, according to health ministry figures. Six of the fatalities were health workers.
Modelling by the Ugandan government at one stage suggested the epidemic could become the country’s worst ever outbreak and the third deadliest globally.
Forecasts predicted up to 500 could be killed by April.
However in November 30 2022, Uganda discharged its last known Ebola patient from hospital and President Yoweri Museveni lifted all Ebola-related movement restrictions.
Uganda’s outbreak was caused by the Sudan Ebola virus, one of six species of the Ebola virus for which there is currently no vaccine.
But three candidate vaccines — one developed by Oxford University and the Jenner Institute in Britain, another from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the United States, and a third from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) — are being trialled in Uganda.