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Africa News of Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Arrival of Ebola vaccines in Guinea excites WHO Africa head

The World Health Organization's Africa head, Matshidiso Moeti, has expressed joy at the arrival of Ebola vaccine jabs in Guinea as the country races to combat a resurgence of the viral disease.

Guinea is set to start the vaccination drive Tuesday, February 23, 2021; after a flight delayed by a Saharan dust storm arrived carrying thousands of jabs.

"Pleased that #Ebola vaccines have arrived in #Guinea last night despite poor weather conditions. A vaccination team has been deployed to N’Zerekore & is ready to rollout vaccinations as soon as the vaccines are received," she tweeted.

The outbreak, declared last weekend, is the first in the region since a 2013-16 epidemic left more than 11,300 people dead, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The start of the inoculation campaign had to be delayed by one day after a plane carrying more than 11,000 vaccine doses was unable to land in Guinea's capital Conakry due to a dust storm.

A special flight carrying the Merck vaccine finally landed in Guinea late Monday, an AFP correspondent reported.

Health authorities said some of the doses would head straight to Nzerekore, the capital of Guinea's southeastern forest region where five people have recently died of Ebola. Inoculations are also planned in Conakry on Tuesday.

Ebola causes severe fever and, in the worst cases, unstoppable bleeding. It is transmitted through close contact with bodily fluids, and people who live with or care for patients are most at risk.

As well as Guinea, the disease has also recently reemerged in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A further 8,700 vaccine doses were set to arrive from the United States on Wednesday.

Additional files from Africanews via AFP

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