The World Health Organisation Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced that they now have an Ebola vaccine that is more than 97 per cent effective and treatments that are more than 90 per cent effective if used early enough.
His reassuring announcement came three days after two Ebola cases were confirmed in the South Kivu Province of DR Congo, the first in the province that borders Rwanda to the South-West.
Dr Tedros said in a tweet that: “We now have an Ebola vaccine that is more than 97% effective and treatments that are more than 90% effective if used early enough. Ebola is preventable and treatable. We need to make sure everyone in the affected area knows that.”
The DR Congo Ministry of Health, the WHO and partners, he noted, have been preparing for months for the spread of Ebola to neighbouring provinces and countries.
Dr Tedros congratulated Burundi for the Ebola vaccination campaign among health workers launched last week, following similar campaigns in Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
The latest development comes after the UN health agency last week announced that the co-sponsors of the Ebola therapeutics trial in DR Congo had announced advances that will bring patients a better chance of survival. Two out of the four drugs being tested were found to be effective in treating Ebola.
According to statistics from WHO, Ebola has so far claimed over 1,888 lives in DR Congo.
No case has been reported in Rwanda where the government has intensified preventive measures.