By Stephen Kalema

The exercise to vaccinate frontline health workers and healthcare worker against Ebola will commence on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer, in the Ministry of Health yesterday told Watchdog Ugandathat the exercise will start in Ntoroko District.

The Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO) teams kicked off the exercise by re-orienting the vaccination teams on Monday and Tuesday. These two days were also earmarked for engaging and informing health workers about the upcoming exercise.

According to Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, this compassionate use of the Ebola vaccine (rVSV) for healthcare and frontline workers is to protect them against the Ebola Virus Disease.

“An undiagnosed Ebola patient could present to a health facility in Uganda for medical attention. This context puts our health care workers (HCW) and frontline workers (FLW) in Uganda at risk of being in contact with an EVD case in the context of the current outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), therefore this is why we are carrying out this exercise to protect our people in high risk areas,” Aceng said last week at Uganda Media Canter.

According to Aceng, 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.

WHO donated 3,000 doses of rVSV to Uganda. However, currently the National Medical Stores has 2,100 doses which will be used to vaccinate the over 1,500 health and frontline workers.

“As the minister stated earlier, this vaccine will be given to only those health workers and frontline workers in high risk health facilities. This rVSV vaccine can only boost the body immunity to fight against EVD for only one year,”Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Ag. Director General Health Services in the Ministry of Health.