Ministry of Health is set to conduct what it called compassionate use of the Ebola Vaccine (RVSV) on healthcare and frontline workers in Uganda starting next week on Monday.
Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said her ministry received approval from the various stakeholders to use the vaccine, as Uganda continues to prepare itself for the deadly virus which has killed over 100 across the border in the DRC.
She told press that the ministry got the green light from the World Health Organisation, Makerere University School of Public Health Institutional Review Board, Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST) and National Drug Authority (NDA).
“The vaccine is very safe as evidenced from its previous use in Guinea, Sierra Leone and in the Democratic Republic of Congo where no issues whatsoever about its safety has arisen,” she said.
Health workers at 40 facilities are set to get the vaccine in the districts of Kasese, Ntoroko, Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Bunyangabo, Arua and Hoima.
The minister said only through this way will Ugandan health workers who deal with Congolese travellers daily will be protected.
“The level of movements has been high traditionally due to visits to relatives and is now heightened as the population looks out for safety, trade and medical attention”
“Based on this context, the public health risk of cross-border transmission of Ebola to Uganda was assessed to be very high at the national level.”
Minister Aceng revealed that so far 2100 doses of the RVSV vaccine are available at the National Medical Stores and preparations are in high gear, including training of the Health workers that are to be vaccinated.
She added that once one is vaccinated the incubation period is ten days and works for 12 months.