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ACoDD Spearhead Public Health Surveillance and Contact Tracing in Kasese: Ebola Outbreak Response

On Tuesday 11th June 2019, the Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Kasese, District Uganda. The Ebola Situational Report 14 June 2019, recorded 03 cumulative cases (00 probable 03 confirmed). All (03) confirmed cases have died (CFR =100%) 14 June was the 1st day since the death of the last confirmed case and there are 112 contacts under follow up. None of the cases has developed symptoms to date. On 16 June 2019 marked day 3 since the death of the last confirmed case who passed on the 13 June 2019 while on transfer to the DRC for further management. As of 16 June 2019, details can be found on the Ebola situation Reports here:

The AFENET Corps of Disease Detectives (ACoDD) teams are currently in in Kasese District in Western Uganda conducting surveillance, case identification and contact tracing.

ACoDD teams are conducting contact tracing, screening at points of entry, screening and the health facilities as well as at mass gatherings. Active case search and death surveillance are ongoing in all the health facilities and the communities as the district response teams and ACoDD continue to investigate all alerts. One ACoDD team member is part of the psychosocial support teams at the district.

The ACoDD team also participated in Infection Prevention and Control, community sensitization and orientation of health workers on Ebola.

 “Our presence in the field has enhanced the district health teams and provided support to the Ministry of Health in terms of providing enough boots on the ground. The impact of AFENET ACoDD deployment has been huge because it has bridged the gap and systems have been established to quickly identify and isolate contacts with symptoms of Ebola.” Said Dr Ben Masiira – Epidemiologist and ACoDD team lead in Kasese.

The ongoing surveillance includes ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data from the field, and timely dissemination of these data to key health personnel at the fore front of preventing and controlling the Ebola Outbreak in Kasese district. 

Contacts as defined by WHO are those in close contact with others who have EVD or who have died from EVD are at higher risk of infection, and of potentially infecting others if they begin to show symptoms. These contacts are followed for 21 days from the last day of exposure which also helps the people get care and treatment and eventually preventing further transmission of the virus to others.

AFENET ACoDD teams are also monitoring the status and behavior of the populations to access the need for immediate health intervention and for directly measuring the effects of these interventions on the community behavior. Such information is delivered to the psychosocial teams who conduct community sensitization on Ebola.