Baylor College of Medicine
Children’s Foundation - Uganda


The National Ebola Survivors’ Program

Development of a recovery plan to the Sudan Ebola virus (SUDV) is important to prioritize long-term care and support for Ebola survivors. It supports survivors to overcome the effects of the Ebola virus disease (EVD), which may include viral persistence in some body fluids, social exclusion, stigma, discrimination and mental distress. It also improves the quality of their lives, and prevents a resurgence of the outbreak.

Ministry of Health (MOH) Uganda established the National Ebola Survivors Program with assistance from Baylor—Uganda and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from November 1, 2022 to December 31, 2023. The program aims at providing high-quality medical care, mental health, and psychosocial support services to Ebola survivors in collaboration with other health implementing partners to facilitate the survivors’ full recovery. The program is currently being funded by Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC)

WHAT ARE WE DOING?
The National Ebola Survivors’ Program provides both general and specialized medical care to Ebola survivors to address short and long-term health problems to address various effects of the Sudan Ebola virus (SUDV). These survivors include men, women, lactating mothers and children who have been affected by the virus. The program is also addressing the risk of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) resurgence by providing sexual-risk reduction counseling and access to viral persistence testing for semen and breast milk among men and breastfeeding mothers, respectively. The program is providing psychosocial support to EVD survivors and their families to enable them cope with post-EVD trauma, as well as community stigma and discrimination. To help them fully recover, the program has trained community resource persons and survivors to provide continuous counseling support to EVD

ACHIEVEMENTS

 Provided technical assistance in developing the first National Guidelines for the Care of Ebola Survivors and tools to support implementation of the National Ebola Survivors’ Program.

  • Mapped the locations of all 87 Ebola survivors, including men, women, and children, to ensure timely access to psychosocial support and medical care.
  • Contributed to the operationalization of three clinics at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital, Kikandwa Health Center III, and Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital to ensure Ebola survivors’ access to and availability of high-quality health services.
  • The program is providing mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to all 87 survivors to enable them to overcome psychosocial distress, stigma, and discrimination, and to reintegrate into their families and communities.
  • Supported viral persistence monitoring and transmission risk reduction counseling for men with persistent virus in semen and women with persistent virus in breast milk.
  • 45/48 eligible males have had semen testing, and 4/4 eligible women have had breastmilk testing.
  • 4/4 of lactating mothers’ breastmilk and 41/48 males’ semen samples are negative and they have been discharged from persistence monitoring.
  • Trained 452 community MHPSS persons and 54 survivor corps to provide additional support and care to Ebola survivors and their families to promote their social inclusion, reduce stigma and discrimination. The term “survivor corps” refers to groups of survivors who have volunteered to help other survivors, forming a network of people who are familiar with the difficulties faced by Ebola victims.
  • Trained 183 health care workers, including doctors, nurses, midwives, social workers, and mental health workers spread across the country, in the long-term clinical and psychosocial care of Ebola survivors residing in their regions.

Donor

Nov 2022 – Dec 2023 – USAID

Jan 2024 – To date – CDC

Program Areas

Ebola survivors


Projects