Uganda vaccinates front-line health operatives against Ebola

  • Uganda vaccinates front-line health operatives against Ebola

Uganda vaccinates front-line health operatives against Ebola

The exercise, which began on Tuesday, is centred around five high-risk districts of Uganda that border the DRC (Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kasese, Ntoroko and Bunyangabu) and involves the administering of 2,100 doses of vaccine to health workers, protecting them against the particular strain of Ebola now circulating in some parts of DRC. The vaccine was given to more than 16,000 volunteers in Africa, Europe and the United States in 2015, and was found to be effective against the Ebola virus.

This could have been avoided if the vaccine had been available then.

Uganda shares a border with Congo, and both nations experience a robust movement of people between them as a result of trade and the region's high population.

Uganda's Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said she believes that the administration of the Ebola vaccine to frontline healthcare workers has been the missing link in the country's EVD preparation and readiness efforts.

More than 1 million people live in the affected districts of Beni, Mabalako, Oicha, and Mambasa, according to Care International.

In recent months Ebola cases have been confirmed near the heavily traveled border between Uganda and Congo, where 270 cases have been reported in the country's northeast since August.

The drug targets the Zaire virus species, the most "vicious of the Ebola types", Woldemariam said.

The WHO said last month that Congo's outbreak does not yet warrant being declared a global emergency but called for an "intensified" response.

The current Ebola outbreak is unfolding in an active war zone with several armed groups attacking health officials, government aids and civilians.

It said the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces and neighboring countries remains high. Furthermore, surveillance measures have been implemented at an airstrip and health workers are conducting door-to-door education on Ebola prevention; however, violence in this area of South Sudan is also inhibiting health professionals from reaching all citizens.

The Ebola virus which is transmitted by bats after detection in DRC was named after the Ebola river.

The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with the fluids of an infected person, or objects that have been contaminated with infected secretions.

Ebola causes fever, severe headaches and in some cases hemorrhaging.

The virus enters the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth.