Swine flu vaccines could arrive next month; Sezibera

• Confirmed cases rise to 34 The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has revealed that swine flu vaccines could arrive in the country next month. According to the Minister, the availability of these vaccines in the developing world will be made possible through the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Richard Sezibera.
Dr Richard Sezibera.

• Confirmed cases rise to 34

The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has revealed that swine flu vaccines could arrive in the country next month.

According to the Minister, the availability of these vaccines in the developing world will be made possible through the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Some companies that make the vaccines have agreed to give 10 percent of their production to the developing world so hopefully next month; this vaccine will be available in the country.

“It is however important to note, that the efficacy of these vaccines is not yet fully confirmed and although they will come, Rwanda has not yet reached a stage where mass vaccination against swine flu is necessary since cases are still so low,” Sezibera told journalists on Monday.

Recent media reports across the globe also attest that WHO officials have declared 100 developing nations as beneficiaries of the vaccines.

According to the Press TV, an international media group, Marie-Paule Kieny, the head of Vaccine Research Unit in WHO said the 60 million doses would be enough to cover health workers and some additional at-risk groups in developing countries.

Countries such as China, Australia and the United States of America have been urged to make donations to the estimated 3 billion people worldwide who are unable to afford the vaccine since they have already received sufficient doses for their populations.

According to Kieny, close to 150 million doses from two makers Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline, as well as an as yet unspecified amount from a third supplier, Medimmune, in the form of a nasal spray and the rich nation stocks are yet to be sent to selected countries.

Experts say one dose will be sufficient to provide immunity against the influenza.

As regards the internal outbreak of the disease, 34 laboratory confirmed cases were reported by yesterday but health officials maintain that cases that had tested positive are receiving appropriate treatment and are doing well.

“People should continue with their day-to-day activities as usual. Those who are ill should delay international travel and those developing symptoms following international travel or after a contact to a suspected or confirmed case should seek medical attention, while people with mild symptoms are advised to stay at home,” a statement from the Ministry of Health quotes.

With regard to prevention, individuals are advised to cover their mouths and nose while coughing or sneezing, to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis.

Those who develop severe symptoms of influenza-like illness should seek treatment at the nearest health facility.

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