Rwanda and DRC embark on Ebola vaccination campaign

DRC and Rwanda on the 8th of December came together to offer an Ebola prevention vaccination campaign. This event was of great importance in fighting the Ebola disease between the two countries. It is also considered as the first cross border vaccination initiative of the Ebola disease. Consequently, the spread of the disease will reduce.

DRC Ebola Officials

DRC Ebola response coordinator Professor Muyeme Tamfoun and Dr. Diane Gashumba, the Minister in charge of health, chaired the event. Present were top dignitaries from the two nations. From DRC, North Kivu Provincial Minister of Health and the North Kivu province vice governor were present. Dr. Soce Fall, the Assistant Director for emergencies at WHO, was present. Rwanda’s WHO Representative Dr. Kasonde Mwiga, Rubavi district mayor, and J team were present.

Thousands of people have been killed by the outbreak of Ebola since its diagnosis back in 1976. Since the discovery of the virus, its recent outbreak in West Africa is the largest. However, its current outbreak in DRC is considered to be complex due to the high insecurity level that is affecting activities at public health centers.

The spread of Ebola

So far, a total of 3314 cases in DRC have been reported with survivals standing at 1084 while deaths are at 2203. Several factors are hampering the efforts of controlling the outbreak. They are incidents concerning security that have affected its ability to vaccinate, follow up, and identify contacts. Consequently, quick intervention is needed before things get worse.

It was evident vaccines could control the Ebola outbreak as many vaccine candidates have been made.  Unfortunately, only one vaccine has managed to get past the WHO qualification and can be used by the population who are at risk.

The vaccine has been in use in Rwanda and DRC for Ebola outbreaks. Recently, the European Commission awarded the rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine permit for commercialization. With this, the manufacturers will not be in a position to produce it in bulk in the coming days.

Despite getting to the essential steps of doing away with Ebola, more efforts are still required to help in ensuring extra vaccines can easily be accessed. This will help in preventing the spread of Ebola, protecting the considerable population. As a result, the population will be at ease.

This is what led to the WHO introducing vaccination for a second time. The follow-up vaccine, J and J, will help in combating the outbreak of Ebola in DRC.

How the vaccine is taken

The vaccine is taken in two doses that are 56 days apart. The vaccinations will mainly target the mobile population. The move will help in keeping in check Ebola control and prevent EVD transmission to the population. As a result, the vaccinations will improve the health of the people.

The Rwandan government, WHO, and several partners have been putting in place measures that will protect its citizens from the deadly virus.  One of the steps that were taken to help in preventing the spread of the virus and the front line workers was vaccination.

A total of 1875 front line workers and health centers uniquely situated in the high-risk regions were vaccinated. As a result, Dr. Diane, Rwandan health minister, urged his country people, especially those living along the border, to clean their hands. This is the first precautionary measure in preventing the disease. Besides that, taking the vaccine is the first and the most crucial step in Rwanda and DRC.

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