After two Ebola victims passed away in the town of Mbandaka in the country’s northwest on Wednesday, the World Health Organization’s Africa office said that the Democratic Republic of Congo has begun a vaccine program.
Since 1976, there have been 14 outbreaks of the deadly virus in the nation, with six occurring just this year.
The government has built up in-house expertise capable of launching a successful Ebola response over time, with the backing of WHO and other partners and donors, according to a statement from the UN’s health department.
The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, stated that “effective vaccinations are readily available, and the expertise of the health professionals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in responding to the Ebola outbreak allows us to swiftly turn the trajectory of this outbreak for the better.”
In the upcoming days, further doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine will be sent from the eastern city of Goma to Mbandaka, in the Equator region.
The “ring strategy” is employed in the vaccination campaign, in which frontline and medical personnel are all immunized alongside contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and contacts of contacts.
One of the two verified deaths was a young guy who passed away on April 21 in a hospital.
According to the WHO, 233 contacts have so far been found in the Mbandaka area and are being kept track of.
The community has also been equipped with a 20-bed Ebola treatment facility.
Out of 130 cases of Ebola reported in Mbandaka in 2020, 55 deaths occurred.