Uganda vaccinates front-line health operatives against Ebola

09 November, 2018, 01:14 | Author: Kara Nash
  • LaCroix US

There are four experimental treatments being tried out in DRC: ZMapp, a cocktail of antibodies that fight the virus; a second cocktail of antibodies called REGN-EB3; a single-antibody drug called mAb114; and an antiviral drug called remdesivir.Supportive care, including replacing fluids and electrolytes lost to diarrhea and vomiting, can also help keep patients alive.This is the second outbreak of Ebola in Congo this year.

A UNICEF staff member discusses the best way to protect yourself against Ebola in a September 12, 2018 conversation with young people living in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, after a recent Ebola outbreak.

It will be the first time the vaccine is used in a country not in the midst of an active Ebola outbreak. It will be administered only to around 2000 first contact health care workers who are working near the borders of DRC in the north Kivu province says the WHO and would not be available for the general public.

In 2015, the vaccine was given to more than 16,000 volunteers involved in several studies in Africa, Europe and the United States where it was found to be safe and protective against the Ebola virus. These could have been saved had a vaccine been available then.

The vaccine is only used under "compassionate use" although it is not commercially licensed.


In this strategy, informed and written consent is needed from people, for them to be vaccinated which in turn may limit mass media coverage of the exercise.

Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda's health minister, told reporters on Friday that with WHO's support, the east African country has procured over 2,100 of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines, and supplementary doses have been requested.

At least some 3,000 frontline health workers in the five high-risk districts of Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko, which border the DRC, are targeted.

Besides militia attacks that have hindered health workers, the region's high population density and movements across the borders to Uganda and Rwanda pose additional risks that the highly lethal fever disease could spread in the region.

He assured of its potency and ability to protect them effectively. Risk communication, community engagement and cross-border surveillance are also going on in many districts.

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