FACT SHEET [Updated: November 2, 2022]
United States Contributions to Uganda’s Ebola Response
The United States has channeled more than $22.3 million (nearly UGX 85 billion), through implementing partners, to support the Government of Uganda-led response to the current Ebola virus outbreak since September 20, 2022. By supporting the leading role of Uganda’s Ministry of Health (MOH), and in coordination with other national and international partners, U.S. government funding advances Ebola surveillance and contact tracing, case management, follow-up care for Ebola survivors, diagnostics and laboratories, risk communications and community engagement, infection prevention and control, waste management, care and treatment for patients in Ebola Treatment Units, and also safe and dignified burials.
For decades, public health experts from the U.S. Mission in Uganda have worked hand-in-hand with Ugandan health professionals to strengthen health systems to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. Working closely with Uganda’s Ministry of Health, we are using these systems and applying the lessons of past outbreaks to combat the current Ebola Virus Disease outbreak together. The United States government has mobilized an interagency team to support Uganda’s Ebola response through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Department of State. Highlights of this support include:
U.S. Government Personnel Engaged, Supporting Uganda’s Ebola Response
- 51 CDC staff are providing direct technical assistance and support working in affected districts, including 18 CDC Uganda team members and 33 CDC headquarters technical experts.
- The U.S. government actively participates in district-level and national-level Task Force meetings to advise on response strategies and coordination.
Community Engagement and Communications Support
The United States has invested in community engagement for outbreak response across Uganda and building risk communication capacity for dealing with any health emergency alongside the MOH in Uganda for years. This support has contributed to:
- Rapid deployment of trained Uganda Red Cross volunteers to partner with Ebola affected communities to improve uptake of community-based surveillance, contact tracing, alert investigation, and safe burials.
- A nationwide MOH Ebola public awareness and messaging campaign through radio, SMS, WhatsApp, social media, and mobile loudspeaker broadcasting platforms. S. assistance sponsored two radio spots providing information on the Ebola virus that were translated into three major local languages.
- Distribution of more than 200,000 pieces of information, education, and communication materials in five of the affected districts, including in three local languages. These materials include 12,000 job aids for Village Heath Teams and Health Care Workers.
- The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in Uganda supporting community engagement, sensitization, and social mobilization; community-based surveillance (alert notifications); referrals for case management; and safe and dignified burials.
- Community leader engagement, sensitization, and dialogues in person and virtually with MOH trainers through ZOOM with approximately 300 faith leaders including Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and Muslim leaders.
Supporting Local Response Capacity for Laboratory Systems, Virus Surveillance & Case Management
The United States has supported Uganda’s MOH in establishing a national laboratory network by directly supporting the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) and other partner institutions like Baylor University to build test capacity, sample transport and data entry and analysis. Similarly, the USG has supported the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in surveillance for zoonotic pathogens including arboviruses and viruses that cause hemorrhagic fever. CPHL and UVRI have worked together as part of a Uganda Ministry of Health effort to provide safe and effective diagnostic and surveillance services to the country. Through local partners, we have intensified surveillance efforts to detect Ebola in the affected districts. The support includes:
- $5.5 million to Baylor-Uganda to support contact tracing, alert management, emergency response coordination, border health, lab training, surge staff and infection, prevention and control (IPC).
- $3.8 million to the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) for IPC, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), contact tracing, Entebbe International airport support, safe and dignified burials.
- All 29 fellows in the U.S. supported Public Health Fellowship Program (PHFP), four program staff, and four incoming PHFP fellows scheduled to start in January 2023 have been supporting case investigation activities, alerts management and contact tracing, and population connectivity across borders (PopCAB) activities to support the response. To date, fellows have investigated and linked more than 140 confirmed and probable Ebola cases, including those of healthcare workers, and supported the evacuation of ill patients, providing critical information to the response to evaluate the presence of undetected community chains and reduce the impact of the outbreak.
Support to UN Agencies – WHO and UNICEF
- $6.4 million to UN agencies includes funds for coordination and case management, surveillance and contact tracing, waste management, community engagement, and supporting survivors.
Support for Ebola Vaccines Development
- The United States is coordinating closely with the WHO and the Government of Uganda on deployment of an investigational vaccine developed by scientists at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and licensed to the Sabin Vaccine Institute.
- In addition to the vaccine candidate, the United States is supporting Government of Uganda with clinical trials of two therapeutics — the monoclonal antibody MBP-134 (licensed to MappBio), and the antiviral Remdesivir. The first shipment of the monoclonal antibody MBP-134 arrived in Uganda in early October and it has been administered to seven critically-ill patients as a clinical trial.
- In collaboration with Gilead Sciences, a second clinical trial is looking at the efficacy of Remdesivir in combination with MBP-134 against SUDV cases. These clinical trials are supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (HHS/BARDA), NIH, NIAID, DoD, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.