Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Tearfund home

Deadly Ebola outbreak in Uganda – please pray

A hard-to-treat strain of Ebola is rapidly spreading in Uganda. Please join us in prayer.

Written by Rachael Adams | 11 Nov 2022

A young child having their temperature checked.

A young child has their temperature checked at a health centre | Image credit: Layton Thompson/Tearfund

In September, the Ugandan Ministry of Health confirmed an outbreak of Ebola in Mubende district. The disease has now spread to eight other districts, as well as the capital city; 136 people have been formally diagnosed and 53 people have died. Projections by the Ugandan Ministry of Health show the outbreak is set to become the deadliest on record for Uganda. Please join us in prayer.

No vaccine

The new outbreak is caused by the ‘Sudan’ strain of the disease – for which there is currently no vaccine for.

The government is desperately trying to contain the disease as much as possible. It has placed two districts – Mubende and Kassanda – into lockdown to try to contain the spread. This includes overnight curfews, closing places of worship and entertainment, and restricting movements in and out of the districts.

The school year has also been cut short by two weeks by the government after an Ebola outbreak in five schools in the Kampala, Wakiso and Mubende districts. The outbreak affected 23 students, including eight children who lost their lives to the disease.

Schools in Uganda were closed for two years during the Covid-19 pandemic, only opening again earlier this year. While schools are looking to reopen in the new year, this will be determined by whether the outbreak will have been contained by then.

‘We would really value your prayers for this crisis and for the people of Uganda.’
Paul Ojuman, Tearfund Country Director for Uganda

Immense challenges

Tackling the outbreak has been fraught with challenges, which are contributing to the spread of the highly transmissible disease.

This includes health workers not having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) – and so are being put at risk of catching Ebola. So far, 18 health workers have become infected and six have died. Medical interns also went on strike due to their salary increases not being fully implemented and because they haven’t been paid in over two months.

The lack of food in the official quarantine centres has also forced multiple people to escape from them – before they are declared free from the infection.

There are also cultural and religious beliefs that are having to be carefully navigated by the government.

For example, many people are seeking treatment from traditional healers first and only reporting to the hospital at the advanced stages of the infection – by which point it is too late.

There was also a case of 23 people becoming infected with Ebola after a body was exhumed by a victim’s family according to his religious beliefs.

Doing everything we can

Tearfund in Uganda will continue to do what we can to make sure our staff, partners and the people we serve are protected. This includes reinforcing handwashing, use of face masks and hand sanitisers. We have also suspended any visits from any members of staff who are not based in Uganda, to help contain the spread.

‘The work that Tearfund and our partners are doing to help people lift themselves out of poverty is not in any of the districts currently affected by the Ebola outbreak,’ shares Paul Ojuman, who leads Tearfund’s work in Uganda.

‘However, there is a concern that it could spread there.

‘The situation here is difficult. We would really value your prayers for this crisis and for the people of Uganda at this time. Thank you.’

Pray with us

    • Pray for wisdom and resources for the Ugandan Government and other decision-makers; pray that they will make good judgements and that they will be able to address the challenges to contain the spread of Ebola.
    • Ask God for his protection and for provision of PPE for health workers and those responding to Ebola. Pray for the safety of all Ugandans from the disease.
    • Pray that there will be a cure found for this strain of Ebola before it infects more people.

Written by

Written by  Rachael Adams

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this page

Share this page to spread the word and help support those in need.

Get our email updates

Learn about our work and stay in touch with Tearfund. Hear about our news, activities and appeals by email.

Sign up now - Get our email updates

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.