Uganda begins Ebola vaccinations under Congo transmission fears

Uganda begins Ebola vaccinations under Congo transmission fears

Uganda wants to vaccinate some of its health professionals against Ebola on Monday. Fears that the hemorrhagic virus fever may spread from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is fighting an outbreak.

The East African country has suffered regular outbreaks of Ebola and Marburg over the years, both high-grade fatal viral hemorrhagic fever diseases.

Parts of Uganda's western border are approximately 100 km from the sites of an Ebola outbreak in the Congo.

Read: Congo confirms Ebola case on the border with Uganda

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said the authorities would carry out about 2,100 vaccinations for so-called borderline frontline personnel.

Tens of thousands cross the border weekly in both directions for commercial and family visits and other purposes, Aceng said.

For this reason, the risk of cross-border transmission was considered very high … hence the need to protect our health workers with this vaccine, she said at a press conference.

The Congo declared the Ebola outbreak on 1 August and there were at least 139 deaths

Due to the short distance from the eruption in the Congo, Uganda was on alert, with increased demonstrations of arriving travelers and training of health personnel in border areas.

Aceng said the widespread uncertainty in the northern Kivu and Ituri provinces of eastern Congo added Uganda to vulnerability to cross-border transmission.

"The security situation in North Kivu and Ituri hinders the effective implementation of response activities," said Aceng.

Uganda's worst Ebola outbreak occurred in 2000, when 425 people were infected, more than half of whom died.

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