The UN health agency said signs are now “extremely positive” in Congo that the Ebola outbreak is winding down, the epidemic remains a global health emergency.
The decision to extend the WHO’s global emergency declaration for Ebola came after a meeting Wednesday of WHO’s Ebola expert committee.
The Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on August 1, 2018, reported an outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province external icon. The world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 2200 lives lost and 3300 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared, according to WHO.
WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said “As long as there is a single case of Ebola in an area as insecure and unstable as eastern (Congo), the potential remains for a much larger epidemic.”
He also discloses that he would be travelling to Congo later this week to meet with the country’s president and senior government officials to discuss ways to strengthen the country’s health care system, according to AFP news agency.Tedros said he hoped that by the time the Ebola expert group meets again likely within three months that they will be able to declare an end to the Ebola epidemic.
Ebola Current Situation in DR Congo
Since November 2019, an upsurge in violence in North Kivu and Ituri provinces has disrupted the provision of care, surveillance, vaccination, contact tracing and other activities of the Ebola response, forcing us to remain extremely vigilant about the resurgence of the disease.
The delay in the alert and subsequent response can be attributed to several factors, including a breakdown of the surveillance system due to the security context (there are limitations on movement, and access is difficult), and a strike by the health workers of the area which began in May, due to non-payment of salaries.
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