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Museveni calls for global research on epidemics

Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – Presiden Museveni has called for global research to address epidemic out breaks as a long time remedy to deadly diseases like Ebola and Marburg.

“Cases of Ebola and marburg outbreaks are mostly in places where animals live. According to World Health Organization, 6 out 10 diseases in human beings are from animals. We need to work together as a region and globally jointly carry out research on environment, wildlife and water to address these epidemics,” he said.

Museveni who was addressing a global health security conference in Kampala on Wednesday said there is need to build capacity for Africa to detect the epidemics early.

Museveni has been credited for his effective campaigns against epidemics like ebola outbreak in 2000 and sensitisisation campaign against HIV-AIDS in Uganda.

“I regard myself as a political doctor. Some diseases do not need real doctors. When there is any outbreak reported at any level, I am part of the crisis. Sometimes presidents are listened too than doctors. I take it myself to educate the masses. We have been able to contain epidemic outbreak in this way. Leaders should guide the population.”

In 2014, the ebola in West Africa killed over 4,000. It was deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976.

Museveni thanked America for its interventions when the disease was first detected in Uganda

“I thank the USA for helping us to diagnose ebola with first broke out in 2000. We had to export samples to Atlanta, to tell what our people had died of. But they (USA) through CDC (Center for Diease Control) we now have the personnel to tell that we have ebola.”

He also said there is need to have medical facilities in refugee camps to avoid spreading of the diseases across the borders.

 “Uganda is host for over 1.3 million refugees and the biggest challenge is detection and treatment of diseases like cholera and ebola. There is need for effective health services in refugee camps,” he said.

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