In recent months Uganda has experienced three separate Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) outbreaks. Two Ebola outbreaks in the districts of Kibaale and Luwero and one Marburg event in Kabaale. URCS responded in all three cases with assistance from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) and aimed to support clinical interventions from the Ministry of Health (MoH) and Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF). In order to fully explore the value added of Psychosocial Support (PSS) and community based volunteers in this type of epidemic response, the unique opportunity of these outbreaks was utilized to document and learn from.
Three independent evaluators representing Disaster Management, Health and Psychosocial support were sent to the affected areas in February of 2013 to gather lessons learned of the response. The main aim of this assessment was to evaluate the PSS response of URCS to these VHF, against the needs of beneficiaries and communities focused on the areas of most ‘added value’ of the URCS; community engagement mobilisation and support, documenting any unintended outcomes and best practice related to the operation.