Ebola vaccination to start next week in Uganda’s high risk districts

Ebola vaccination to start next week in Uganda's high risk districts
A health care worker from the World Health Organization gives an Ebola vaccination to a front-line aid worker in Mangina, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Health Ministry is set to roll out the Ebola vaccination in five high risk districts next week. The high risk districts are Bundibugyo, Kasese, Kabarole, Bunyangabu and Ntoroko.

The Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Aceng, says they have received approval from Institutional Review Board to use the Ebola Zaire vaccine on compassionate grounds.

A total of 3,000 people are expected to benefit from the vaccination. Dr. Aceng says the vaccination will target medical workers and people at risk of infection.

Tentatively Shillings 1 trillion is required for the exercise, according to a budget estimates released by the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO) in August this year.

Dr. Aceng says the Ministry is planning to engage the selected districts in preparation for the exercise. The vaccination follows an outbreak of Ebola in the neighboring DRC where it has claimed more than 150 people. No Ebola case has been reported in Uganda yet.

Studies carried out by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2016 found that the Ebola Zaire vaccine is 95-100 percent effective against the Ebola virus. The vaccine that was developed by Merck is already in use in DRC.