South Sudan to receive 2,000 doses Ebola vaccine

Monday January 28 2019

A health worker wearing protective gear at a facility treating Ebola cases in West Africa. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A health worker wearing protective gear at a facility treating Ebola cases in West Africa. The UN fears the epidemic could spread to South Sudan from DR Congo. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH ODUHA
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South Sudan will this month received 2,160 doses of the Ebola vaccine as part of the ongoing preparedness against the deadly epidemic, UN says.

In a weekly brief on Monday, the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) confirmed that the vaccine doses were meant for the healthcare and frontline workers operating in the Ebola high risk states in South Sudan, particularly the Equatoria region that borders the DR Congo.

“As part of ongoing Ebola Virus Disease preparedness activities, 2,160 doses of the Ebola vaccine will be received in January for vaccination of healthcare and frontline workers operating in Ebola high risk states in the country,” the UNOCHA statement reads.

Taking measures

Earlier, the UN agency warned that South Sudan was prone to the Ebola outbreak due to the influx of refugees from the neighbouring DR Congo.

It said both the government and UN agencies were concerned and were taking measures to screen Congolese refugees at border entries in Western and Central Equatoria.

But the Tombura State authorities in Western Equatoria worried that failure to vaccinate local people could result in the spread of the deadly virus.

Death cases

The DRC, together with a host of partners, throughout 2018 struggled to contain an outbreak of the disease.

Some 373 suspected cases had been reported by November 2018, with 347 of them confirmed and at least 217 death cases.

DRC, formerly known as Zaire, has had 10 outbreaks of Ebola since 1976.

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