Uganda, the neighbour of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is on high alert amid DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak
As the Democratic Republic of Congo battles its Ebola epidemic, Uganda, its eastern neighbour, has decided to begin vaccinations of its health workers. Parts of the Ugandan western border are about 100 kilometres away from the epicentre of the outbreak. Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng said authorities would administer about 2,100 vaccinations to the health personnel on the frontline, working in those districts. She added that the “risk of cross-border transmission was assessed to be very high … hence the need to protect our health workers with this vaccine.” Uganda has suffered five Ebola outbreaks in its history — the last being in 2012 which killed 17 people.
The 10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo was declared on 1 August this year, and at least 139 people have died. Cross-border transmission of the disease is extremely high. Uganda’s worst Ebola outbreak was in 2000 when 425 people were infected, of which more than half died.