Rusizi District, Rwanda, December 18, 2019 – The Ministry of Health on Wednesday officially launched UMURINZI Ebola Vaccine Campaign at Gihundwe health centre in Rusizi district, Western Province as as a means to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.
During this voluntary vaccination campaign, about 200,000 Ebola Vaccine regimens will be given to people who will provide informed consent for the vaccine. The Ebola vaccine campaign started with Rubavu and continued to Rusizi District. The injection will be given to all those who will voluntary accept to be the beneficiaries of the preventive vaccine aged two years and above in two injections.
The launching ceremony in Rusizi District was officiated by the Minister of State in the Ministry of health in charge of Public Health and Primary Care Dr Ndimubanzi Patrick jointly with the Minister of Health, Gender, Family and Social and Humanitarian Affairs in the Province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Honorable Cosmos KUSIMWA BISHISHA.
Dr Ndimubanzi Patrick said that although we have never register any Ebola cases in Rwanda the Ministry of Health has decided to strengthen preventive measures against Ebola by availing the vaccine accessible to our population potentially at risk.
This vaccine does not replace the existing prevention measures, “This vaccine is a new tool that complements the prevention measures against Ebola virus. it complements and does not replace all universal precautions for prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and early treatment” Said Dr. Ndimubanzi.
The Minister of Health, Gender, Family and Social and Humanitarian Affairs in the Province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Honorable Cosmos KUSIMWA BISHISHA emphasised the joint action to fight diseases for betterment of the populations of both sister countries.
" Diseases do not know borders, our presence here is a sign of commitment of our respective Heads of States to safeguard health of our populations.” Said Minister BISHISHA.
During the ceremony, beneficiaries have been provided the Ebola Vaccine after their acceptance followed by the information provided during several educative sessions and awareness activities organized in the community. Beneficiaries will be reminded through text messages to get the second injection after 56 days after the first one.
Eugene Semigabo, a resident of Rusizi District who received the Ebola vaccine on 8 December 2019 during the launch of Umurinzi Ebola Vaccine Campaign in Rubavu district attested that he received the vaccine and feels well; he called upon the residents of Rusizi to massively receive the vaccine.
The 200,000 Ebola vaccine regimens have been donated by Johnson & Johnson and other
partners including Wellcome Trust and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) participated in the funding of the Umurinzi Ebola Vaccine Program.
UMURINZI Ebola Vaccine Program campaign will be implemented by The Ministry of Health’s local partners including Projet San Francisco, Rinda Ubuzima and LEAF Rwanda.