Uganda will today, and for the very first time, start vaccination against the deadly Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) as a preventive measure against the disease that has ravaged neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Kampala-based Daily Monitor Reports.
The five districts identified by the government as most at risk include Kabarole, Bunyangabu, Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko.
The neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo has registered a total of 285 Ebola cases, 250 of them confirmed, and a total of 180 deaths.
The report quotes Uganda’s Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng as saying that only healthcare workers in the five high risk border districts who are prone to infection will receive the vaccine.
Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the World Health Organisation representative in Uganda, says the vaccine is safe with an efficacy level of 90 percent and starts working 10 days from the time it’s administered. It remains effective for 12 months.
The minister stressed that there has been no confirmed Ebola case in Uganda and that an active case search continues in all communities, health facilities and at designated and informal border crossings.
As a neighbour to the DRC, Uganda is on high alert due to the high risk of the Ebola threat,” Dr Aceng said on Friday.
Ebola is a deadly disease caused by a virus. There are five strains, and four of them can make people sick. After entering the body, it kills cells, making some of them explode. It wrecks the immune system, causes heavy bleeding inside the body, and damages almost every organ. The virus is scary, but it’s also rare.
The West African Ebola virus epidemic was the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease in history—causing major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in the region, mainly in the countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.