Rwanda's Ministry of Health has unveiled an Ebola campaign that is set to witness health and frontline health workers immunised against the virus. The move is aimed at protecting healthcare workers from contracting the virus in case they have to deal with patients who have it.
The announcement surfaced after a cabinet meeting on April 3 approved the use of recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vaccination, an experimental drug for the protection against the virus.
The Minister for Health, Dr Diane Gashumba opined on April 5 that although Rwanda is Ebola-free, the vaccination is informed by the fact that the epidemic has persisted in neighbouring DR Congo. In the current outbreak in DR Congo, 1087 people have been infected with the virus and 60 percent of them died while 370 were treated and recovered.
The vaccine was donated to Rwanda by Merck, an American pharmaceutical company that developed it. The support was channelled through the World Health Organisation. It is estimated to be worth about USD 1 billion.
The support was channelled through the World Health Organization (WHO). It is estimated to be worth about USD 1 billion. The vaccination drive starts on April 15 and lasts for five months, covering 15 districts that medics say are more susceptible to the epidemic. They are Nyarugenge, Gasabo, Kicukiro, Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyamasheke, Musanze, Nyabihu, Burera, Gicumbi, Nyagatare, Karongi, Bugesera, Nyanza and Rusizi, as reported by The New Times.