The Ebola epidemic in the DRC has forced the Ugandan authorities to consider what was previously unthinkable: the vaccination of all people at risk.
Last Sunday, about 250 confirmed cases of Ebola – which caused about 180 deaths in the DRC, Uganda's Ministry of Health announced the beginning of vaccination against Ebola. Approximately 2,000 health workers and frontal workers along our DRC border will receive an experimental vaccine.
Uganda has no confirmed cases of Ebola, but in dealing with a new threat by the DRC, a preventive measure is welcome news regarding heavy cross-border traffic.
The ring vaccination plant, which is "a new and vital tool in controlling Ebola," stresses that the authorities here have taken the usual threat of Ebola in the Congo and the dangers it represents for Uganda.
According to official statistics, more than 20,000 people go from DRC to Uganda daily. This density of human beings increases the risk of cross-border ebola transmission.
The vaccination, the first of its kind in Uganda, offers hope and a practical solution to the recurrent threat to ebola outbreaks in Congo.
This vaccination is a courageous break from the years of unhappy dealing with Ebola threats, which is usually panic, confusion, and finger pointing.
In the past, news of the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC would encounter the approach of government and government, here as panic in public.
And usually without much intervention, a viral disease would quickly skip our western border with the Congo and overcome a slow response from the authorities in Uganda, leaving many lost souls in their lives.
With pleasure, Kampala, who works with global partners, has adopted a sustainable mechanism for rapid response to hemorrhagic problems, including equally nasty Marburg.
In a statement last week, the ministry announced that active investigation of suspected cases continues in all communities and that warning cases continue to be selected, isolated, treated and blood samples transmitted for testing at the Institute for Virus Research in Uganda.
IPC training was conducted in all vulnerable five provinces of Kabarola, Buniaangabu, Kasese, Bundibugio and Ntoroko. Cases for case management and supervision were ultimately implemented in seven districts including Vakiso and Kampala.
As we have said in past editors, this type of response is very commendable and shows that we have learned heavy lessons from the past in the government's epidemic solutions for 2014-16, which led to hard earnings in West Africa, killing hundreds of health workers.
A proactive approach will always help reduce the threat of Ebola.