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Receiving the Ebola vaccine does not preclude families from having babies. This was confirmed by Umulisa Marie Michèle, the Executive Director of Rinda Ubuzima.
At Rinda Ubuzima we are conducting the Umurinzi Program’scommunity engagement and outreach work. Therefore we are cautious when dealing with rumours, as these may harm our mobilization strategy.
“While doing our community engagement before the Ebola vaccination campaign started, we encountered some challenging problems. There was a certain belief that the Ebola vaccine that we are using might cause impotency. Some women were told that the vaccine would affect their menstrual circles, making them infertile and increasing the risk of developing cancer. But as we carried out our plan by providing reliable information on the Ebola vaccine, the community rallied to our cause and understood the importance of getting vaccinated.” said Umulisa Marie Michèle.
“We started our community outreach work at the grassrootslevel in order to sensitize the people about the benefits and the importance of being vaccinated against the Ebola Virus Disease.” she added.
Our vaccination campaign is focusing on the population of the communities that do cross-border businesses on a regular basis, but also all those who work and live in areas near the border.
“People with disabilities, very active in the cross-border business in Rubavu District, have been vaccinated at an encouraging stage. More than 97% of the cooperative members have been vaccinated.” She said.
“Currently in Rubavu District two Ebola vaccination sites are serving all those who seek vaccine, and this figure is likely to increase as other vaccination sites will open soon. The Ebola vaccination site at the border post of “Petite Barrière” has the capacity to receive between 250-330 people per day, while Gacuba Health Center is receiving between 100-150 people per day.” she concluded.
“Although everyone is allowed to have vaccination against Ebola Virus; in Rwanda, during this Umurinzi Program, pregnant women and children below two years old will not be eligible for the vaccine.” Said Dr William Kanyankore
Since last year when the Ebola outbreak occurred in Democratic Republic of Congo, the Government of Rwanda is taking considerable measures to protect its people from the epidemic. These include: screening everyone who enters Rwanda from abroad using thermal scanning procedures; upholding hygiene; and now everyone willing to get Ebola vaccine is served in Rubavu and Rusizi Districts.
“Vaccinating against Ebola doesn’t mean you stop prevention measures, because it can still attack the vaccinated individual. But what is very encouraging for the vaccinated people is that they are treated easily comparing with the ones who did not get vaccinated. Citizens are highly advised to keep preventing Ebola by washing their hands habitually, recognizing the symptoms of Ebola, avoiding contact with people who are diagnosed with Ebola, and avoiding unnecessary traveling arrangements in areas with confirmed cases of Ebola” he said.
Rwanda will be vaccinating 200,000 persons, and by now, in two Districts namely Rubavu and Rusizi about eight thousand people have been vaccinated.
By January 13th 2020, in the neighbouring DR Congo 3406 people were diagnosed with Ebola and 2236 of them were killed by the disease.
by Kayitare Jean B