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Ebola vaccination to start in Ntoroko district

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Vaccination of medical and frontline workers against Ebola is scheduled to start Wednesday in Ntoroko district, the Health Ministry has revealed. Ntoroko is one of the high five risk districts where vaccination will take place.

The others are Bundibugyo, Hoima, Kasese and Kisoro districts. The vaccination is in response to an Ebola outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC, which has claimed 755 people since it was first reported in August this year.

The Health Ministry Spokesperson, Emmanuel Ainebyoona told URN that the ministry has decided to start with Ntoroko because it is at high risk.

“The Ministry of health and its other health partners like WHO will tomorrow Wednesday 7th November start vaccinating health workers and frontline workers against Ebola. We decided to start from Ntoroko because it is one of the high risk districts that have high chances of being exposed to Ebola.”

Last week, the Health Ministry announced that vaccination of Ebola would start on Monday. Ainebyoona explains that immunization didn’t start on Monday as earlier communicated due to preparatory meetings.

“On Monday and Tuesday we were reorienting health workers who are going to administer the vaccine,” he said.

Details of which health facilities the vaccination exercise will take place were not readily available by the time of publishing this story. The vaccination exercise will make Uganda the first country where Ebola immunization has taken place without any case of the viral infection being reported in country.

The rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine is the first highly effective Ebola vaccine since the first outbreak of the disease more than 40 years ago. It was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in 2003 until it was licensed by Merck.

Until the recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and DRC, the vaccine sat on a shelf for decades because of lack of pharmaceutical company interest.

According to a tweet from the WHO Country Representative Dr. Yonas Woldemariam, the vaccination exercise will take place in an additional 17 districts in the country. These districts include; Kampala and Wakiso in Central region, Adjumani, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Moyo, Nebbi, Yumb and Zombo in West Nile. In Western and South Western Uganda they include, Kabarole, Kagadi ,Buliisa Kabale, Kanungu Rubiriizi and Rukungiri.

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