DR Congo launches Ebola vaccination campaign

BUTEMBO, CONGO - JULY 27: A healthcare member inoculates a man for Ebola suspicion to take precautions against the disease in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo on July 27, 2019. (Photo by JC Wenga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The World Health Organization on Monday announced an Ebola vaccination campaign had been launched in the city of Butembo in North Kivu province.

Health workers at Matanda medical centre, where the first positive case was treated, were the first to receive the vaccine, it added.


Last Friday, 1,200 doses of Ebola vaccine and cold chain equipment arrived in the country, as well as experts from the W.H.O., to help local health personnel in the response to the cases.

Ituri and North Kivu provinces in the DR Congo’s eastern region were affected by the country’s 10th outbreak which began in August 2018 and was declared over in June last year. That outbreak saw about 3,500 cases reported and nearly 2,300 deaths, according to the W.H.O.

Earlier this month, the DR Congo reported its first Ebola case more than two months after the W.H.O. declared the 11th outbreak in the western Équateur province over in November last year.

The DR Congo has so far reported four confirmed Ebola cases while Guinea, which declared a new outbreak on Sunday, has reported seven confirmed cases. However, the outbreaks in the two countries are not linked.

Ebola is a virus-caused haemorrhagic fever that is spread through contact with body fluids. In extreme cases, it causes fatal bleeding from internal organs, the mouth, eyes or ears.