Uganda is a fast-growing country that remains vulnerable to a variety of epidemics and pandemics, including Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, measles and acute watery diarrhoea. Diseases coming from animals that can affect human health are also a threat, including Rift Valley Fever, anthrax and rabies.
Uganda Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has been helping communities prepare and prevent the spread of diseases. Volunteers are sensitizing communities about health risks, with a focus on Ebola. Focused in Kabale, Kamwenge and Bundibugyo, Red Cross works with communities, local responders, media, humanitarian partners and government to collectively prepare and respond to epidemics.
Through Uganda Red Cross’ extensive network of community-based volunteers, a powerful surveillance system has been set up, in coordination with other actors including the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. This system is designed to help stop diseases from spreading by detecting them early before an outbreak occurs. It has already identified two measles alerts, later laboratory confirmed, leading to vaccination campaigns and awareness raising activities at the community level.
Uganda is one of eight countries piloting a community epidemic and pandemic preparedness programme to scale up efforts towards global health security. The program strengthens the ability of communities, National Societies and other partners to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats and play a significant role in preparing for future risks.
Publication date: 14/10/2019
Document status: Final