Statistics published on January 14th, 2020 show that in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2336 people died of Ebola from 2000 recorded death in September 2019 while the total number of infected people were 3288 in 2018.
Last year, it was reported that the Ebola Virus had struck again in the North Kivu and Ituri region as well as near west borders between Rwanda and DRC. The alarming reports urged the Ministry of Health to adopt measures to curb the epidemics before it reached Rwanda.
Travelers showing signs of the virus were placed in quarantine as they waited for ambulances from Rubavu and Rusizi district and the Ministry of Health sensitized the public on how to prevent the disease.
Quarantine rooms were built near thermal imaging cameras which can identify infected people by their body temperature. The thermal imaging cameras send an alert only for people with 38 Celsius degrees. The normal body temperature for a human being should be between 36 and 37 Celsius degrees.
On December 8th, 2019, the Ministry of Health launched Umurinzi Ebola voluntary vaccination campaign at la Grande Barrière in Rubavu District with the aim of providing vaccines to at least 200,000 Rwandan citizens who frequently trade with DRC.
However, pregnant women and children below 2 years of age were not eligible for receiving the Ebola vaccine.
At least 3000 Rwandan citizens were vaccinated at the beginning of the campaign last year. 336 people who frequently travel to the DRC are vaccinated on a daily basis.
Gisenyi Hospital Director, Lt Col Dr. William Kanyankore said that the vaccines are voluntary and that the campaign targets mainly residents who frequently cross to DRC as they are the most exposed to the epidemics.
UMURINZI Ebola Vaccine Program campaign is implemented by the Ministry of Health local partners such as Project San Francisco, Rinda Ubuzima and LEAF Rwanda. The Ebola Vaccine was tested and approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
People who receive the vaccine are required to lie down for at least 15 minutes as doctors examine possible side effects.
One of the institutions qualified for treating Ebola patients is Gisenyi Hospital located in Rubavu district. Ebola patients are transported to Gisenyi hospital in an ambulance and have no direct contact with a doctor until they reach the hospital’s premises. They are assigned to quarantine rooms just so they do not contaminate other patients in the hospital.
When Ebola patients are not too weak to walk, they are welcomed by two doctors wearing protective apparel. In the opposite case, the patients are welcomed by four doctors equally wearing protective apparel to avoid any contact with the patient.
After the patient is evacuated, the ambulance is cleaned using a 0.5 dose of Chlorine which is used as an antiseptic to prevent the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
Cleaning and decontamination are also mandatory for doctors who treat Ebola patients.
The protective apparel is only designed to be worn for no more than 50 minutes as they only let a small quantity of air inside.
Patients who are in recovery are taken to a separate room for further treatment. Those who unfortunately die due to the disease remain in quarantine since dead bodies of Ebola victims are highly infectious.
Since the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC last year, $17 million have been invested to stop the spread of the epidemics and establishing preventive measures to treat patients.
Despite all the aforementioned measures, universal precautions for prevention, surveillance, diagnosis and early treatment remain relevant.