By The Inspirer staff writer
Rwanda is going to vaccinate front-line health-workers against Ebola to protect them against this fatal viral disease in case they have to deal with patients, Dr. Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health has said.
The Minister made the revelation in Kigali at the Ministry’s Head Office on Friday, April 5, 2019, during a press conference on Ebola preparedness updates in Rwanda.
The development follows the rising trend in the spreading of the disease in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
An estimated 695 people have died of Ebola in DRC, while while 1041 cases have been confirmed there, according to the Works Health Organization (WHO).
Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, which kills up to 90% of affected people, and it is caused by Ebola virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A person can get affected by the disease through contact with the already affected person, especially their secretion.
Ebola spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (such as bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
Rwanda has got 3000 vaccines against Ebola for Health care and frontline health workers, according to the Ministry of Health.
The vaccine was donated to Rwanda by Merck, an American pharmaceutical company that developed it.
The support was channelled through the World Health Organisation.
The vaccine, the Ministry announced, has been efficient on approximately 100,000 health and frontline workers who have been vaccinated in DRC and neighbouring countries.
Jean Baptiste Mazarati, the Head of Clinical Services at Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said that more than 8,000 healthcare and frontline workers showed their readiness for vaccination.
Mazarati, who is also the leader of vaccination efforts, said that the available drugs can cater for 3000 people.
Rwanda has undertaken preparedness activities, including community awareness, identifying first responders and capacity building for case detection, management and infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement activities, the Ministry stated.
Information from the .Ministry also indicate that districts of Rwanda in high risk zone of Ebola targeted for vaccination include Nyarugenge, Gasabo_District, KicukiroDistr, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyamasheke, Musanze, Nyabihu, Burera, Gicumbi, Nyagatare, Karongi, Bugesera, Nyanza, and Rusizi.
On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province. The Ministry of Health, WHO and partners are responding to this event, and working to establish the full extent of this outbreak.
Numbers may fluctuate on a daily basis due to many factors, including continuing monitoring, investigation and reclassification of cases.
The Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015, resulted in 28,616 Ebola cases reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths due to the disease, WHO data show.
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