Vaccinations Begin, Along The South Sudan / DRC Border: Ebola Passes 700 Cases
January 31, 2019

On Monday local time in Africa, the decision was made to begin limited vaccinations of health care workers — with the NewLink/Merck candidate, in higher risk border communities in the South Sudan, which for several hundred miles shares a border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This is a regrettably wise move. Regrettable, in that this current outbreak might have been contained at around 100 cases, had there been less internal war-lord style strife, and distrust of authorities in the urban centers of Butembo and Beni. But we must meet the people wherever they are (emotionally and physically), and however they seem to present. So it is on to multi-country vaccination efforts:

. . . .Health care workers and other front-line responders in South Sudan are being vaccinated against Ebola amid a worsening outbreak of the disease in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, WHO announced. . . . Fearing cross-border spread from the DRC, Uganda began vaccinating front-line workers in November. According to WHO, more than 2,600 health care workers in eight of that country’s high-risk districts have been immunized. WHO reported that Rwanda also is planning to vaccinate front-line workers.

“The Ebola responders are sacrificing a lot,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “They’ve worked flat-out for months, away from their families, to combat one of the world’s deadliest viruses in a risky environment. I’m proud of them, and I wanted to tell them that personally . . . .

Onward — we will eventually arrest this outbreak. Sticking close to home, again today — on a brilliantly clear morning here, but still about 17 below in the city. Making “science experiment” snow, from pots of boiling water — to pass the time. . . smile.