Goma: Health workers in Congo are setting up refrigerators to keep cool an Ebola vaccine needed to tackle an outbreak suspected of killing some 30 people since it was declared over last week.
The vaccination campaign will target healthcare providers, contacts of confirmed Ebola cases and their contacts, said Barthe Ndjoloko Tambwe, director of the Ebola response in Beni. The strategy is the same that was used to contain the previous outbreak in Congo's Equateur province in which more than 3300 people were vaccinated.
As of Monday Congo's Health Ministry said there were 43 suspected cases, with 16 confirmed, including four deaths.
Congo announced the latest outbreak on August 1, a week after declaring the end to a previous outbreak in the north-west which killed 33 people. It is not clear whether the new outbreak, more than 2500 kilometres away, is related.
It did not give a total death toll, but previous ministry reports have put deaths at more than 30.
"The cold chain for the vaccinations arrived in Beni on this sixth of August," the statement said. "Twelve teams of vaccinators will be deployed in the different affected zones."
The experimental vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck , proved successful during its first wide-scale usage against the outbreak in the north-west.
More than 3000 doses remain in stock in the capital Kinshasa, allowing authorities to quickly deploy it to the affected areas near the Ugandan border.
The vaccine normally needs to be kept at minus 80 degrees Celsius, although it can be stored for a couple of weeks at just above freezing.