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reliefweb - 14 days ago

DR Congo: Developing a Gap Analysis tool to improve Ebola vaccine acceptance and compliance in sub-Saharan Africa

Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda Source: ODI - Humanitarian Practice Network by Edward Kumakech, Maurice Sadlier, Aidan Sinnott and Dan Irvine The Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in 2014 was unprecedented. Between January 2014 and January 2016, 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, including 11,310 deaths, were reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The outbreak devastated affected populations and caused considerable disruption across the region. As of 26 December 2019, in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), 3,366 cases (3,248 confirmed and 118 probable), including 2,227 deaths, had been recorded. The outbreak in DRC puts neighbouring countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan on high alert should the outbreak spill over their borders. Considerable progress has been made in relation to Ebola vaccines since 2014, and as of February 2020 a number of countries have licenced their use. However, experience has shown that, when a country does decide to deploy an Ebola vaccine, exceptional levels of demand-side (community-level) preparedness are key to ensuring its success. Reluctance and refusal are issues with all vaccines, but for an Ebola vaccine this is likely to be especially sensitive due to the fear and stigma surrounding the disease itself, alongside mistrust of government, local stakeholders and international organisations that o en play a significant role in the deployment of Ebola vaccines. Effective communication and community engagement to inform, interact and create a dialogue with target populations could be the difference between high vaccine confidence, uptake and compliance and heightened vaccine concerns and mistrust, low uptake and compliance and even boycotts. The World Health Organization (WHO) s Global Ebola Vaccine Implementation Team (GEVIT) Practical Guidance on the Use of Ebola Vaccine in an outbreak response excels in providing guidance on supply-side preparedness for deployment. However, it doesn t cover demand-side readiness well, and thus does not enable governments or implementers to systematically assess their own readiness to deploy. Read the full report here


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