Baylor College of Medicine
Children’s Foundation - Uganda

Emergency Preparedness and Response

Baylor-Uganda seconded staff to the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and Department of Integrated Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Public Health Emergencies (IES&PHEs) to provide technical support. The team supported investigation, coordination, and response to 11 public health events. These events included Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever, Anthrax, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Rift Valley Fever, Monkey Pox, Measles, Meningitis Type 2, Malaria, COVID-19 and SUDV. The staff supported surveillance data analysis, generated weekly bulletins and dashboards, and facilitated regional meetings for evidence-based decision-making.

 Baylor Foundation Uganda further supported the establishment of the Fort Portal Regional Emergency Operation Centre (REOC), located and managed by the regional referral hospital to improve surveillance, coordination, and communication during disease outbreaks and other health emergencies. They have also improved rapid response activities to prevent the spread of diseases and minimize their impact on communities.

 Risk assessment

Uganda is among the first African nations to use the WHO Strategic Toolkit for Assessing Risk (STAR) tool to assess multi-hazard risks in the country. Between March 18 and 22, 2024, Baylor Foundation Uganda, with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), trained officers from Buliisa, Kibaale, Kagadi, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Hoima districts, and Hoima city to identify all hazards in their region, evaluate their risk levels, and strengthen their preparedness to respond to any public health emergency or hazard.

Outbreak response

Baylor-Uganda successfully integrated EMS into the alert management system to support preparedness and response measures. Baylor-Uganda seconded staff to the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and Department of Integrated Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Public Health Emergencies (IES&PHEs) to provide technical support. The team supported investigation, coordination, and response to 11 public health events. These events included Congo Crimean Haemorrhagic Fever, Anthrax, Tuberculosis, Yellow Fever, Rift Valley Fever, Monkey Pox, Measles, Meningitis Type 2, Malaria, COVID-19 and SUDV. The staff supported surveillance data analysis, generated weekly bulletins and dashboards, and facilitated regional meetings for evidence-based decision-making.

Infection Prevention and Control

Establishing robust and effective infection prevention and control (IPC) programs is essential for ensuring safe healthcare delivery, essential services provision, and the prevention and control of healthcare-acquired infections (HCAIS). it is crucial to begin by ensuring that at least the minimum IPC requirements are in place, both at the national and facility levels. subsequently, there should be a gradual progression towards achieving all requirements outlined in the recommended who eight IPC core components.

Baylor – Uganda played a crucial role during both the response and recovery phases of the 2022 Ebola outbreak by supporting infection prevention and control (IPC) practices among healthcare workers, contributing significantly to ending the outbreak and improving IPC adherence in supported facilities.

 Achievements

Risk Communication and Community Engagement

Risk communication and community engagement are important for disease surveillance/outbreak response. Baylor Foundation Uganda utilizes various communication channels to provide timely updates and information to the community regarding disease outbreaks, ensuring transparency and trust between healthcare providers and the public. This approach helps to promote community participation in disease prevention and control efforts, ultimately leading to better health outcomes for all.