Eastern Congo is currently experiencing the 2nd worse Ebola outbreak in history. Over 1,500 have died. Fighting the epidemic is being hindered by lawless conditions in the area. International health workers have been hesitant to work there because of unsafe (violent) conditions.
Recently in Uganda, 2 people have died from Ebola. They died in a hospital near the Congolese border. Ugandan border areas is on high alert trying to keep the epidemic from spreading outside the Congo.
One of the areas where we work in southwestern Uganda are the southern Rwenzori Mountains. We have been assisting many of the mountain village schools. Unfortunately, the villages abut the Congo border. And the boundary is very porous.
Ten days ago, our coordinator in the Rwenzoris indicated that all schools were required to have 2 hand washing stations, one at the entrance and another at the latrines. Since the mountain schools are very poor, our NGO agreed to assist.
A friend found sturdy hand washing units in Kampala, and had 28 of them shipped to Kyarumba, located in the foothills of the Rwenzoris. Our local coordinator is going to get them delivered to the mountain schools. Since many of the schools are in roadless areas, the villagers will be carrying them up to their schools. Our coordinator is also insuring that training on the importance of hand washing is provided.
Even if the Ebola outbreak doesn’t reach into Uganda, the hand washing units will be valuable for fighting other diseases endemic to the region.
Note: More info to come.