The World Health Organization has deployed 4,000 doses of vaccine along with emergency teams and equipment to the Democratic Republic of Congo to control an outbreak of Ebola, which is suspected to have infected 39 people, including 19 deaths.
The UN agency is working with the country's Ministry of Health and international nongovernmental organization Médecins Sans Frontières to conduct ring vaccinations across the affected region, where contacts of those infected, followed by contacts of those contacts, would all be vaccinated.
Though 4,000 doses have been shipped, more are expected to be sent out, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevik confirmed.
The latest outbreak is occurring in the northwest of country, in the Bikoro health zone, 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) from Mbandaka, the capital of Equateur province.
Of the 39 cases of Ebola reported since April 5, two have been confirmed using laboratory tests.
A further 362 people at risk have been identified using contact tracing, said Dr. Ibrahima-Soce Fall, WHO regional emergency director for Africa.
"This outbreak is very close to the Republic of Congo and Central African Republic. And we are taking it very seriously because it is close to Mbandaka, a city of 1 million people," Fall said, adding that there are two suspected cases in Mbandaka, and the patients are being held in isolation.
ThinkWell has launched the findings from a systematic review of the current evidence base on immunization delivery costs (IDC) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Conducted as part of the Immunization Costing Action Network (ICAN), the review aims to answer a question frequently asked by global and country immunization stakeholders: What are the unit costs of vaccine delivery across different LMICs and through a variety of delivery strategies?
The review considered over 13,000 articles/reports published between January 2005 and January 2017 on the topic. Ultimately, ThinkWell drew from 54 articles/reports on immunization delivery costing data without restricting themselves to a particular vaccine, delivery strategy, type of cost analysis, or setting.
A range of tools and companion products from the systematic review are now available at www.immunizationeconomics.org/ican:
The review will be refreshed at the end of 2018 and also in 2019 to reflect new content and user feedback.
THE IMMUNIZATION COSTING ACTION NETWORK (ICAN)
Led by ThinkWell and John Snow, Inc. (JSI), the ICAN is a project focused on increasing the visibility, availability, understanding, and use of data on the cost of delivering vaccines. ICAN aims to build country capacity around generation and use of cost information to work towards sustainable and predictable financing for vaccine delivery. The three-year project includes this systematic review of immunization delivery costs, country costing studies and a peer learning network. The ICAN is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.