WHO to convene urgent meeting following second Ebola death in Uganda

Toll: Three people on a motorbike carry a cross for a grave in Ebola-hit North Kivu . AFP/John WESSELS

Toll: Three people on a motorbike carry a cross for a grave in Ebola-hit North Kivu . AFP/John WESSELS

The meeting will determine whether or not the outbreak is ‘a public health emergency of international concern’.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) panel is to hold an urgent meeting on Friday, following Uganda’s second Ebola death after it spread from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The WHO meeting will determine whether or not to declare the outbreak of the disease in Uganda “a public health emergency of international concern”, following the death of the grandmother of a five-year-old Congolese boy who died from Ebola on Tuesday in Kasese in western Uganda, the WHO reported on Wednesday.

Three cases of Ebola have now been reported in the west of Uganda.

Before WHO will make the call on whether to declare a health emergency, which will result in a major shift in the mobilisation against the epidemic, it must determine that the spread of the disease “carries implications for public health beyond the affected state’s national border and may require immediate international action”.

Following last August’s outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, more than 2,000 cases have been confirmed, two-thirds of them fatal.

The grandmother of the boy died around 6pm Wednesday at Bwera General Hospital after she had been held in an isolation facility, where established Ebola cases are treated.

She is to be buried on Thursday.

– African News Agency

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