Health promotion is a vital part of fighting an epidemic. In an Ebola-response, it is one of the main pillars to tackle the outbreak.
Since the beginning, MSF has been working closely with the Ugandan Ministry of Health. MSF has been constructing Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) and smaller Ebola treatment Units (ETUs) and have been conducting outreach activities in areas where the virus appears. The health promotion teams go into the community and share information on infection prevention and control with health workers, community members and local leaders as well as traditional healers.
Alunga Tom is in charge of outreach activities for MSF in the Ugandan Ebola response and risk communication in Mubende, where the first cases were declared. Together with his team of over 50 health promoters he goes into the communities to pass on correct and timely messaging around the virus: “Basically, we speak about the virus and what Ebola is. We let people know how they can get the virus and who is able to spread it. People for example need to know that if you are a contact, you are not sick. You are only sick when you have begun to develop symptoms. Then the person is infectious.”