Assessment of preparedness of border districts to respond to plague-West Nile Region, Uganda- August, 2021

  • Zoonotic
Export to CSV
Ituri Province in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a hotspot for plague, with occasional crossing of case-patients into Uganda. As of June 2021, 117 cases were reported in Ituri Province, DRC. In August 2021, we evaluated the risk of plague importation into West Nile region of Uganda and assessed the level of preparedness to respond.

We used the Population Connectivity Across Borders toolkit to assess risk of plague introduction in 6 West Nile districts and one city. We categorized risk in districts based on previous cases, volume of cross-border movements, and proximity to the outbreak epicenter in DRC. We assessed districts’ preparedness to respond using an adapted WHO checklist and Readyscore criteria (scores <40%= ’not prepared’). We assessed 47 health facilities across six West Nile districts for response readiness in terms of healthcare worker training, availability of standard operating procedures, and training of village health teams.

Two districts (Arua and Zombo) in West Nile were in the highest-risk category for plague importation. All districts scored as ‘not prepared’, although Zombo and Arua scored higher (both 39%) than other districts. Of 47 health facilities assessed, 21 were ‘not ready’, and no facility was ‘prepared’. Only 10 had staff who had been trained in plague-related activities.

No districts or health facilities in the area assessed were prepared to respond to potential plague importation. The risk of importation is high, especially in Arua and Zombo Districts. Arua and Zombo Districts should be prioritized for preparedness activities for a potential plague outbreak.

Please abstracts [at] tephinet [dot] org (email us) if you have any corrections.

If this abstract has been converted into a full article, please abstracts [at] tephinet [dot] org (email us) the link. We would love to help promote your work.