The dreaded Ebola virus disease has hit the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC again. But to prevent its spread, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has obtained 4,000 doses of Ebola vaccine and is preparing for deployment in the Central African nation.

WHO Africa Director, Matshidiso Moeti disclosed this on Sunday.

“We’re working on the deployment of these materials, especially readying the cold chain,” Moeti told Reuters by telephone.

“The start date of the vaccinations will depend on this deployment,” he added.

The DRC and United Nations (UN) agencies are also working together to deploy emergency teams of specialists to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola epidemic suspected to have infected more than 30 people.

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The latest suspected case was reported on Friday in the northwestern province of Equateur, which Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga visited with officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund.

"We have to pool our efforts quickly and align ourselves with the government response plan to fight this new epidemic effectively," Kalenga was quoted as saying in a joint statement.

The DRC first reported the outbreak, centred on the village of Ikoko Impenge, on Tuesday, with 32 suspected or confirmed cases of the disease, including 18 deaths since April 4.

Some deaths occurring as early as January have not yet been linked to the epidemic.

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