Uganda + 1 more

Over 4,000 health care workers and front-line workers vaccinated against Ebola

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Kampala — 01 March 2019 — A total of 4420 health care workers and front line workers have been vaccinated against Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) using the Ebola-rV5V vaccine in the 13 high risk districts bordering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at 165 health facilities and 15 Points of Entry (PoE).

The vaccination exercise targeting the high-risk districts was carried out in a phased manner-Under Phase I, eight districts were covered and these are; Bundibugyo, Bunyangabor Kabaroler Kanungu, Kasese, Kisoro, Ntoroka, Rubirizi while 5 districts were covered under phase II_ These are; Rukungiri, Hoimar Kikuube, Buliisa and Kagadi.

The Ebola-rVSY vaccine was administered to the health care workers and front line workers, the most high risk population to protect them against the deadly Ebola - Zaire virus strain that is currently circulating in some parts of DRC.

The targeted vaccination move follows the confirmation of an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2018. To date, a total of 817 cases have been confirmed while 553 cases succumbed to the disease in DRC.

Uganda is the first country in the World to carry out compassionate Ebola Vaccination without facing an active Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

Expanded Access (also called 'Compassionate Use'), refers to the use of an investigational vaccine outside of clinical trials to prevent or treat a serious disease or condition for which there are no comparable or satisfactory approved therapy options available.

An extra 1,170 doses of the Ebola- rV5V vaccine have been stocked at National Medical Stores {NM for rapid use in case an Ebola case is detected in Uganda.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola- rVSV vaccine offers vaccinated individuals up to 95% protection for one year. To date, none of the vaccinated individuals have reported adverse side effects as a result of receiving the vaccine. The vaccine is safe, effective and protective against the Ebola virus.

In the same vein, there is NO confirmed EVD case in Uganda. Active case search continues in ail communities, health facilities and on formal and informal border crossing in all districts especially in the high-risk ones, Alert cases continue to be picked, isolated, treated and blood samples picked for testing by the Uganda Virus Research (UVRI).

Other ongoing EVD preparatory activities are: capacity building for infection prevention and control, clinical management, psycho-social care and for sale and dignified burials, risk communication, community engagement and cross-border surveillance.