Armed escorts will be required to protect vaccination teams as they battle to contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization has warned. The Ebola outbreak area in North Kivu province, classified as a level four security threat by the WHO – one of the highest set by the UN – comes amid local unrest including violence between rival militia groups. The turmoil poses major challenges for those tasked with locating and vaccinating people who may have come into contact with Ebola victims. “Even though we have access to the towns of Mangini and Beni, we don’t know to what extent we will be able to rely on armed escorts for broader contact tracing outside those small towns. “That’s going to be a critical determining factor in our ability to respond,” said
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has started vaccination against the latest Ebola outbreak in the northeaster North Kivu province, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday. The vaccination has targeted high risk populations in North Kivu, in which the provincial health minister and the provincial coordinator of the Expanded Program on Immunization were the first to be vaccinated. They were followed by first line health workers from the Mangina health center, 30 km from the town of Beni, who had been in contact with people who were confirmed cases of Ebola. “Vaccines are an important tool in the fight against Ebola. This is why it has been a priority to move them rapidly into place to begin protecting our health workers and the affected population,” said DRC Health Minister Dr.
The Ebola outbreak in Congo is confirmed to be the Zaire strain of the virus and vaccinations of health workers may start as early as Wednesday, a senior official of the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Peter Salama, WHO deputy director for emergency preparedness and response, gave the results of genetic sequencing in a tweet saying that analysis showed it was a new outbreak in North Kivu province. “We can start using rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine as early as tomorrow.” The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, proved successful during its first wide-scale usage against an outbreak of Zaire virus on the other side of Congo in the northwest that was declared over less than two weeks ago after killing 33. The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck, proved successf