Rwanda has started vaccinating citizens against the deadly Ebola virus in its first large-scale vaccination campaign against the disease.
Health officials say over 200,000 people will be vaccinated over the 12 months in areas bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda’s health minister Diane Gashumba revealed over the weekend that priority will be given to health workers, immigration officials, police and those engaged in cross-border trade.
In August this year, Rwanda reopened its border with DR Congo after shutting it briefly as part of efforts to prevent any spread of Ebola into its territory.
The earlier closure came after at least two people died from the virus in the eastern Congolese city of Goma, near the Rwandan border.
Rwanda has so not confirmed any Ebola cases but wants to be on alert to prevent any possible spread into its territory.
The country is adopting the same vaccine used for the first time last month in the city of Goma in eastern DR Congo.
DR Congo is already vaccines made by US drug companies. The Johnson & Johnson manufactured vaccine was introduced last month to compliment that of Merck.
The Merck manufactured vaccine was introduced this year and administered to thousands of people.
Officials in DR Congo say the country’s year-long Ebola outbreak has led to the death of at least 2,000.
According to government data the number of confirmed and probable cases has also hit a milestone of more than 3,000.
The worst epidemic was recorded between 2013-2016 in West Africa. More than 11,300 people died then out of 28,000 who were infected.