Health Minister Ruth Acheng has said, government is next week set to roll-out compassionate use of Ebola vaccine to all healthcare in Uganda.
Dr.Aceng says the decision was reached following the emerging cases of Ebola in the neighboring country of Democratic Republic of Congo with latest statistics indicating that DRC has registered a total of 285 cumulative cases, 250 confirmed cases and a total of 180 deaths and about 41 suspect cases are under investigation putting Uganda at higher risk.
According to Dr. Acheng compassionate use is aimed at giving access of Ebola vaccine to healthcare and front line workers to offer protection against Ebola in the context of the current outbreak in DRC.
“Currently there are 2100 Doses of the Ebola vaccine at national medical stores and on-ground planning is underway. The vaccine is preventative and can only protect one before they are infected with Ebola. Once the person is infected the vaccine cannot help them,” she said.
“Since there is no confirmed Ebola case in Uganda, we continue to pick all alerted cases for testing at Uganda Virus Research Institute,”
She said nationwide risk communication and community engagement about Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Training has been conducted in all the five districts of Kabaraole, Bunyagabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko to ensure that communities are sensitized and can timely report any suspected case.
World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative, Yonas Woldemariam, revealed that the vaccine has no risks apart from mild reactions, “This vaccine is safe as evidenced from its previous use in Guinea, we conducted follow up of whoever has been vaccinated,” he added.