Ebola: 'PCR is the Only Authorized Testing Method' - Health Ministry
The Ministry of Health said the only approved method for confirming the Ebola virus is the PCR test, citing a surge in illegal testing tools.
"It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health (MOH) that unauthorized Ebola rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) are circulating on the market and are in use by some private health facilities. This practice is illegal and dangerous because it exposes the general public and health workers to the risk of infection," reads a November 7 statement issued by Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa, the director general of Health Services.
"World Health Organisation has never approved the use of RDTs for confirmation of Ebola disease. PCR is the only authorized testing method and is being done in government laboratories free of charge at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), and the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) mobile lab in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital."
According to Dr. Mwebesa, Ebola testing and patient management is restricted to designated government facilities above as of now.
"This is because of the high risk posed by a highly infectious virus with a high death rate. The restriction on testing and management of Ebola cases is due to the requirement of specialized safety equipment and containment measures that & are not available in private health facilities." reads the statement.
"This also requires well-trained experts with appropriate protective gear and SOPs. MoH encourages the general public and private health facilities to report any Ebola suspect to nearby public health facilities or contact the emergency toll-free line 0800100066."
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