336 people vaccinated against Ebola in Rubavu daily

336 people are vaccinated against Ebola daily on the border of Rwanda and DR Congo in Rubavu district since the campaign was launched at the beginning of December last year.

Although the spread of Ebola has been reducing globally, the disease continues to become a world health crisis. The Latest figures of Ebola situation as of January 14, this year, indicate 3,288 confirmed cases and 2,236 deaths, since the breakout, in 2018.

Dubbed ‘Umurinzi’, the campaign seeks to have at least 200,000 people vaccinated. The ‘most vulnerable’ are people who cross the Rwanda-DR Congo border, most of whom are traders.

Pregnant women are not eligible for vaccination.

After the person is vaccinated, they are taken to the ‘observation room’, where they are supposed to spend a minimum of 15 minutes to see if there are no side effects.

The Ebola treatment centre

Also in Rubavu district, a few minutes’ drive from the border in Rugerero sector is the Ebola Treatment centre. All the equipment required is already there; Protective gear, medicine, beds, among others.

The centre is built in a way that the virus would not spread from the sickbay and the centre at large.

The doctors have their own entry to the sickbay. The patients are brought in an ambulance without any paramedic/doctor with them, but with the driver, who is also not allowed to get out at all costs.

The patient, if they can walk, is received by two doctors who are fully dressed in the required costumes. If they can’t walk, they are received by four doctors.

The ambulance is immediately sprayed with 0.5 chlorine and sprayed with water after a few minutes.

The doctors’ way out from the sickbay is arguably the most dangerous. They are supposed to wash their hands a couple of times, be sprayed with 0.5 Chlorine, and more disinfecting appliances before they undress.

Their costumes are supposed to be worn in a maximum time of 50 minutes. This is because they are very warm, and the oxygen supply is low, and it could affect the doctors.

Everything they wear except eyeglasses and boots is burnt.

The centre has recovery rooms, where patients who are improving are treated.

If the patient recovers, they are also disinfected before getting back to their families. They take a supervised shower, among other disinfection methods.

Everything used is later burned.

If the patient dies, their family has their own gate, where they can see them from a distance, without touching, since the body of the person who died from Ebola is the most infectious.

There is a specific burial site for people who die of Ebola.

The centre has two zones; the green zone which is expected to be safer and the red zone in which everything and everyone there is very vulnerable to have the virus.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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