Minister Aceng Commissions 32-bed Ebola Treatment Facility at Mulago Hospital

Minister Aceng Commissions 32-bed Ebola Treatment Facility at Mulago Hospital
Minister Jane Ruth Aceng tours the New Ebola Treatment Facility at Mulago Referral Hospital. Photo by Frank Semata

The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has commissioned a 32 bed Ebola treatment semi-permanent unit at Mulago hospital.

The now seventh facility has been constructed by MSF international and partners putting into consideration patient high quality care, with dignity, family members can visit and provide care safely.

The Minister appreciated partners that have put the facility and equipment to functional state and mentioned why the ETU is being commissioned yet the Ebola cases have lessened.

This is our 7th ETU, 3 Ebola treatment units in Kassanda, 2 in Entebbe and now 2 at Mulago referral hospital. We are on a countdown until the 10th January, if there is no Ebola case reported, we will declare Uganda Ebola free on the 11th January 2023.”

So far, we’re not seeing any new cases in the greater Kampala area neither in Masaka nor Jinja, many of these have completed their 21 days countdown with no Ebola case recorded, the district that is slow is Kasanda and we still following up.

“To date, we have registered 142 confirmed cases, 86 people have been discharged and have lost 56 with a mortality that has not been high and I thank the health workers who have played a big role. Kasanda district still needs a lot of risk communication and will continue a 90 day surveillance even after declaring Ebola free because of their myths, misconceptions and witchcraft.”

The newly constructed facility at Mulago Hospital / Photo Frank Semata

About the facility at Mulago hospital when Ebola is declared out of Uganda, Aceng noted, “This facility will remain here since it’s a semi-permanent one and we will use it as a training unit, right now it’s open for treatment if we get any suspect or confirmed cases, they will be treated here.”

“The facility has a provision for laboratories and tests can be carried on from here, it’s constructed in a way that it can be upgraded into an intensive care with inlets for oxygen, fluids and patients can be managed well.” Aceng noted.

Aceng mentioned that there is no country in Africa that has facilities for managing Ebola like Uganda does, from permanent to semi-permanent.

 “This is our 7th Ebola outbreak and we have been able to manage. Our vision is to train all health workers in all the regions of Uganda in preparation to have resilient systems that can withstand any shock. With help from WHO, we hope to have this as a training unit for the East African region and the African region.” Aceng emphasized.

The minister used the opportunity to make clear the case about health workers that have been in media claiming they’ve not received salaries for over 3 months.

“Ebola has been with us for about 82 days, all health workers have been paid their salaries fully, except the month of November for which we are paying out soon enough.”