By Spy Uganda
Uganda’s Ministry of Health has warned against the use of rapid diagnostic tests for Ebola diagnosis in the country saying it poses the risk of infection to the public and healthcare workers.
Director General of Health Services Henry Mwebesa said in a statement on Monday that RDT has never been approved by the World Health Organisation for confirmation of Ebola infection.
“PCR is the only authorised testing method and is being done in government laboratories free of charge at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) mobile lab in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital,” Mwebesa said.
He stressed that those two facilities are the only ones offering testing and patient management services in the entire country as of now.
This, he said, is due to the high risk of infection and death rate of the virus.
“The restriction on testing and management of Ebola cases is due to the requirement of specialised safety equipment and prevention measures that are not available in private health facilities,” the director general said.
According to the WHO, there have been 51 deaths, including healthcare workers and 132 cases across seven districts in the country.
Uganda declared an Ebola disease outbreak of the Sudan species on September 20, 2022, after the confirmation of a case in the Mubende district.
The outbreak of the Sudan strain is the country’s fifth.