Health ministry rolls out Ebola vaccination in five prone districts

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Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda's health minister, told reporters on Friday that with WHO's support, the east African country has procured over 2,100 of rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccines, and supplementary doses have been requested.

In recent months Ebola cases have been confirmed near the heavily traveled border between Uganda and Congo, where 270 cases have been reported in the country's northeast since August.

Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO Representative in Uganda, referred to the vaccination as a huge step in mitigating the risk of Ebola among health care workers, and assured them that it would provide effective protection.

After entering the body, it kills cells, making some of them explode, it wrecks the immune system, causes heavy bleeding inside the body, and damages nearly every organ, though it is scary, but it's also rare.

At least some 3,000 frontline health workers in the five high-risk districts of Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Kasese, Bundibugyo, and Ntoroko, which border the DRC, are targeted.

Several studies have shown that it is safe and protective against the Ebola virus but more scientific research is needed before it can be licensed.

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In Congo, where thousands of people have been given the experimental Ebola vaccine, a worrying number of vaccinated health workers have been infected.

Health officials in DR Congo are battling the outbreak which continues to kill many. "Not because of the unequipped terrain and unpaved dirt roads but because these villages act as front lines between the different armed groups", Dr. Eric Mukuma, a health zone coordinator for the aid group CARE, wrote in an editorial in the Guardian newspaper.Some patients have also fled treatment centers, carrying the virus with them.

Investigators believe that the first victim of Ebola in any outbreak acquires the virus after coming into contact with a "reservoir" animal, say an infected bat or monkey.

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo, and gets its name from a river in the latter nation.

"It is highly likely that Uganda may import Ebola virus disease from DRC given the closeness of the current epicenter, the high population movements due to trade, social-cultural connections and easy accessibility of health services in Uganda", the WHO said.

The current Ebola outbreak in DRC is the country's second in 2017.

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