Infectious Diseases Institute’s contribution to building resilient systems for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control

Uganda is one of the countries with hotspots for emerging and re-emerging pathogens, by being situated at the equator. Before the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, Uganda had controlled and eliminated her largest EVD epidemic not to mention Marburg, plague, anthrax, cholera outbreaks. As a listed endemic and epidemic diseases hotspot, Uganda is currently part of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which is ratified United Nations Security Council to control and defeat disease outbreaks. With GHS support, Uganda has built credible capacity and expertise for managing such outbreaks, using resources and approaches suitable for resource-limited settings. The Ugandan Ministry of Health spearheads these GHS initiatives, together with partners including our Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI). To date, IDI has supported the MoH to institute the One Health Platform in Uganda, which develops meaningful biosecurity and biosafety policies and programmatic strategies to combat diseases of outbreak nature. The IDI further supported the development of the National Action Plan for Health Security (2019 – 2023); the AMR National Action Plan 2018 – 2023; and other operational guidelines. Specifically, IDI

  • Provided technical advice on EVD, to the MoH Case Management and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) pillar at the Ministry of Health.
  • Successfully implemented a district-based IPC in Kasese region, to improve the overall IPC level in 118 private and public health facilities.
  • Initiated the local production of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitiser (ABHS) in Kasese District supplying 130 health facilities. IDI has scaled up this novel idea and ABHS production to health facilities confronted with high-risk infectious diseases.
  • Supported in development of IPC training materials to guide health workers.
  • IDI trained public health workers on clinical management of patients with EVD and other virulent infectious diseases.
  • IDI deployed clinical staff to support border district health facilities and communities to combat EVD.

Today, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, “No new cases of Ebola virus disease have been reported since 17 February, and on 3 March, the only person confirmed to have EVD in the last 21 days (Figure 1) was discharged from an Ebola Treatment Centre after recovering and testing negative twice for the virus. This is an important milestone in the outbreak”. WHO World Disease Outbreak News, 5th March 2020.