Confusion continues to surround the degree of force to be used in a new Ebola vaccine campaign in the DR Congo after officials in Mangina told inhabitants not to leave the area because they had to be vaccinated by Wednesday 8th August.
Meanwhile, in a tweet the Minister of Health Oly Illunga stressed that an official had agreed of his own free will to be the first to receive the unlicensed Merck vaccine in Mangina.
u ministre provincial de la #santé du #NordKivu qui a montré l’exemple en étant le premier volontaire à se faire vacciner contre #Ebola lors du lancement de la #vaccination à Mangina aujourd’hui.
More on the armed escorts from The Guardian
Armed escorts will be required to protect vaccination teams as they battle to contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization has warned.
The Ebola outbreak area in North Kivu province, classified as a level four security threat by the WHO – one of the highest set by the UN – comes amid local unrest including violence between rival militia groups.
The turmoil poses major challenges for those tasked with locating and vaccinating people who may have come into contact with Ebola victims.
“Even though we have access to the towns of Mangini and Beni, we don’t know to what extent we will be able to rely on armed escorts for broader contact tracing outside those small towns. That’s going to be a critical determining factor in our ability to respond,” said spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.