Africa

Ebola vaccination starts in Sierra Leone to prevent new outbreak

Preventive Ebola vaccination will continue over next few days in several districts sharing borders with Guinea

Felix Tih   | 13.05.2021
Ebola vaccination starts in Sierra Leone to prevent new outbreak

ANKARA 

Sierra Leone has launched the Ebola vaccination campaign to prevent a new outbreak in the West African country, according to a statement.

The campaign kicked off on Wednesday as the country takes proactive public health measures to protect people at high risk of infection in case of any potential cross-border transmission of the disease from the ongoing outbreak in neighboring Guinea.

The preventive Ebola vaccination will continue over the next few days in several districts sharing borders with Guinea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

About 16,000 people have been targeted for vaccination in the selected border districts, and they will receive two doses of the vaccine given approximately eight weeks apart.

“This strong partnership, led by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is a strategic step towards protecting the health of the population in Sierra Leone and a clear demonstration of the concern and care for the frontline workers who may be at risk,” Steven Velabo Shongwe, WHO representative in Sierra Leone, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Last week, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak -- three months after the first case was reported in the North Kivu province.

The disease caused global alarm in 2014, killing more than 11,300 people and infecting an estimated 28,600 as it swept through Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in the course of the epidemic.

Ebola, a tropical fever that first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, is transmitted to humans from wild animals.

Currently, there is an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the West African country of Guinea, which began in February.

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