The Government of Uganda on 11th January 2023 formally announced an end to the Ebola outbreak in the country having marked 42 days without recording a single case across the country as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
On 20th September 2022, the Uganda Ministry of Health declared an outbreak of the Sudan variant of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the country, prompting a multi-agency response to curb the spread of the disease.
Cumulative confirmed cases in Uganda stood at 142 that resulted in 56 deaths up to the end of the epidemic.
GOAL’s response during this period has been that of providing support to the Ministry of Health by training 23 healthcare workers on infection prevention and control (IPC) and case identification in Kyegegwa district (Western of Uganda) a region where the first case of the Ebola virus was detected.
This trainings equipped the District Rapid Response Team with the knowledge and skills that enabled them to effectively identify, isolate, notify, manage and refer patients with EVD in a hospital setting.
The SMART Approach
GOAL’s response to the EVD outbreak was based on the SMART (Social Mobilisation Based on Research and Training) approach. The approach recommends a combination of Community Led Action (CLA), mass media and interaction with local leaders to leverage an empowering community-centred response that can be scaled up for operation on a national scale. GOAL implemented two pillars of the SMART approach, (CLA and mass media) in Kyegegwa district with a focus on Kyegegwa Town Council, covering 18 villages.
In Kyegegwa, GOAL mobilised all stakeholders through inception meetings that introduced them to the Community Led Action approach. A knowledge attitude and practice (KAP) survey was conducted during the baseline and endline assessment in 600 household on Ebola Virus Disease in 18 communities.
The team was able to train 46 community mobilisers on Community Led Action, facilitating 164 triggering sessions reaching a total of 3,726 community members while supporting them to develop 96 community action plans.
To enable widespread communication and awareness raising GOAL supported 3 radio talk shows conducted on EVD preparedness in Kyegegwa district. In Kampala GOAL conducted TV spot EVD messages in and a live broadcast on Buganda Broadcasting Service Television in local language on how to prevent the spread of EVD.
GOAL fully participated in the taskforce meetings led by the Ministry of Health at district and national level to ensure a coordinated response, maximising the impact of available resources to the promptly stop the spread of EVD.