The Ministry of Health has banned the use of unauthorized Ebola Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs).
According to the Director General for Health, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the practice of using RDTs is illegal and dangerous because it exposes the general public and health workers to the risk of infection.
The directive follows news that unauthorized Ebola rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) had circulated on the market and are in use by some private health facilities.
Mwebesa said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has never approved the use of RDTs for confirmation of Ebola disease.
He revealed that PCR is the only authorized testing method and is being done in government laboratories free of charge at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and the Central Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) mobile lab in Mubende Regional Referral Hospital.
He told the public that Ebola testing and patient management are restricted to designated government facilities.
He said this is because of the high risk posed by a highly infectious virus with a high death rate.
He noted that the restriction is due to the requirement of specialized safety equipment and containment measures.
“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. This also requires well-trained experts with appropriate protective gear and SOPs,” he said.
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