The DR Congo government appears to have very wisely decided to limit its Ebola vaccination campaign starting today to a small number of people, health care personnel, Ebola victims and their contacts.
But an NGO led by a pastor called Gilbert Kambale has launched a media campaign to pressure the government to give all the people in the region of Beni the unlicensed and risky Merck vaccine.
Kambale seems to want not just the circa 80,000 people in the city of Beni to take the jab. He seems to want the circa 250,000 people in the whole province of Beni to become victims of an uncontrolled and potentially life threatening experiment.
It is not clear who funds his civic society group or him. But there is nothing “royal” about giving nearly 250,000 people, presumably also using force since some would refuse, an Ebola jab that has not managed to receive even an emergency license since 2015.
Beni borders Uganda and is close to Ruanda and Burundi as well as South Sudan.
The development of UCBC is supported the Congo Initiative (CI-UCBC), a Christian charity in Wisconsin.
DR Congo’s health minister Oly Illunga has said that the new outbreak is separate from the one in May. Genetic tests show it belongs to the Zaire strain.