Uganda has given the World Health Organisation (WHO) a go-ahead to administer an investigational Ebola vaccine in high risk areas neighbouring the DRC, where the outbreak has already claimed 170 lives, Uganda News Agency The Independent reports.
Uganda will become the first country in the world to give a vaccine against Ebola without experiencing an active outbreak.
The country’s health authorities along with the World Health Organization have taken the decision because of the threat of the spread of Ebola from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Insecurity around the town of Beni, in the east of the DR Congo, has hampered efforts to contain Ebola in the latest outbreak in which 179 people have already died.
The affected region is close to the borders of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
In Uganda, the vaccine will be given as a preventative measure to frontline health personnel.
Vaccination teams have been deployed in the west, close to the border, to start work in the five most-at-risk districts.
Uganda has already been taking other measures such as the screening of people crossing at some border points. The country has a reputation for responding quickly to health emergencies.
In 2000, it experienced its own deadly Ebola outbreak which killed over 200 people. And since then, it strengthened its surveillance and emergency response teams for early detection of virus outbreaks.