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First doses of experimental Ebola vaccine arrive in DR Congo

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-16 20:23

KINSHASA - The first batch of experimental vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO) against Ebola hemorrhagic fever arrived Wednesday in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Orly Ilunga, the Congolese Minister of Health, who received the vaccine in Kinshasa, indicated that the batch received from WHO will be stored first in the laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, before being transported to the health zone of Bikoro, in the province of Equateur in the north-west of the country where the Ebola epidemic had been declared since May 8th.

According to DRC's Ministry of Health, a vaccination campaign is planned for this week to raise awareness about this vaccination, which will be tested for the first time in the DRC.

During his visit to Kinshasa last Saturday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, met with the President of the DRC, Jospeh Kabila who officially authorized the use of this vaccine against the Ebola virus in his country.

According to the latest WHO statistic, 32 cases (two confirmed cases, 18 probable and 12 suspects), including 18 deaths, 1 confirmed Ebola death, were recorded between 4 April and 9 May in Bikoro.

With the roll-out of this vaccine, WHO intends to lead an effective response to halt and contain the epidemic as quickly as possible.

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