Ebola outbreak in DR Congo declared over, now let’s tackle other health challenges: WHO chief

DRC Ebola 2018

WHO/Lindsay Mackenzie Dr. Alhassane Toure vaccinates a health worker at a health centre in the city of Mbandaka (16 June 2018).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The Ebola virus outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been declared over, thanks to a concerted national and international effort to contain the threat, the UN’s top health official said on Tuesday.

The countdown to the announcement began on 12 June, when the last patient was released from care after testing negative a second time for the virus, whose symptoms include major bleeding and high fever.

Speaking from the country’s capital, Kinshasa, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), hailed the “tireless efforts” of local teams in combating the deadly disease, which claimed 29 lives, and infected dozens more.

Mr. Tedros also congratulated health partners, donors and the DRC Ministry of Health for working together so effectively, to end the outbreak.

Unlike eight previous Ebola outbreaks in DRC in the past four decades, this latest episode was complicated by the fact that it involved a major urban centre of more than 1 million people, Mbandaka, with a direct connection via the Congo River to the capital and to neighbouring countries, as well as extremely remote rainforest villages.

There were concerns that the disease could spread from Equateur province to other parts of DRC and neighbouring countries, Mr. Tedros said, but the threat was minimized thanks to the release of emergency WHO funding within hours of the outbreak being declared on 8 May.

WHO and partners appealed for $57 million to stop the spread of Ebola; total funds received by all partners amounted to $63 million.

Fighting the DRC outbreak was also made easier by the existence of a vaccine, following a major trial in Guinea in 2016, one of three countries in West Africa where Ebola claimed more than 11,300 lives between 2013 and 2016.

The absence of a cure for the disease was in part responsible for the continued reliance on traditional burial methods, WHO has said, which in some cases involved bathing in the water used to clean those who had died from the virus.

In an appeal to the authorities and health partners to transfer the momentum of fighting Ebola to other diseases in DRC, Mr. Tedros said that they could be “confident” about tackling cholera and polio, too.

“We must continue to work together, investing in strengthened preparedness and access to health care for the most vulnerable,” he said.

Looking ahead, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said that DRC was in a better position to address future public health emergencies, since “more than three quarters of the 360 people deployed to respond (to the Ebola outbreak) came from within the region”.

DRC’s health professionals had also gained valuable knowledge and insight from those involved in the West Africa Ebola vaccination campaign, involving nearly 12,000 people, Dr. Moeti added.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The EU patent space and Unified Court are born

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

The Oslo model: how to prepare your city for the electric-vehicle surge

Pride in health care during Pride Month: Are we ready for a dignified health care for LGBTQI+ patients?

Erasmus+: a turning point in the lives of 5 million European students

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

UN chief hopes for new agreement after Israel concludes international observation mission

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

More funding needed to tackle child labour in agriculture says UN, marking World Day

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

The world invested almost $2 trillion in energy last year. These 3 charts show where it went

Why precision medicine is the future of healthcare

UN chief highlights action across borders for ‘stable and prosperous Eurasia’

EU Budget: A Reform Support Programme and an Investment Stabilisation Function to strengthen Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union

Air pollution, the ‘silent killer’ that claims seven million lives a year: rights council hears

MEPs take stock of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy priorities

More than half a million Rohingya in Bangladesh get ID cards for first time: UN refugee agency

Bigotry ‘moving at lightning speed’ Guterres warns, as UN marks the Holocaust

Outgoing UN official praises Iraq’s ‘exemplary peaceful transfer of power’ at the top

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

The impossible end of the war in Syria

Three reasons to be optimistic for the future of Asia

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

ILO’s Bureau for Employers´Activities to publish new study on women in business and management

The UK’s River Thames has come back to life – with a seal population to prove it

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

The world wide web is 30. Here are 8 things you should know about it

Fight against climate change and poverty will fail without overhaul of global financial system, says major UN report

United States: UN chief ‘deeply saddened’ by deadly California wildfires

Peacekeeping: A ‘great opportunity’ to develop professionally and personally

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

FROM THE FIELD: Conversations about Conservation

Streaming music isn’t as green as you might think. Here’s why

European Accessibility Act: Parliament and Council negotiators strike a deal

The China-US trade deal will be signed on time; the path is set

Cities will lead the electric transport revolution. Here’s why

Teenage girl’s death sentence spotlights Sudan’s failure to tackle forced marriage, gender-based violence – UN rights office

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, in Brussels - Berlaymont, last week. (Copyright European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Lukasz Kobus)

Amazon, Luxembourg and Ireland hit by EU’s latest turn of the screw over competition

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

Insecurity and violence turn Nigeria into a ‘pressure cooker’ that must be addressed, says UN rights expert

A new global financial crisis develops fast; who denies it?

‘Perseverance is key’ to Iraq’s future, UN envoy tells Security Council

Hurricane Dorian: Bahamas death toll expected to rise as thousands remain missing

Who cares about the unity of Ukraine?

In Tokyo, UN chief expresses full support for US-Japan dialogue with North Korea

A quarter of Americans have no retirement savings

Spring 2019 Economic Forecast: Growth continues at a more moderate pace

Young New Yorkers bring robots, and a glimpse of the future, to UN Headquarters

We must learn and change after Haiti sexual abuse scandal -Oxfam chief

Lack of basic water facilities risks millions of lives globally: UN health agency

UN food aid to Yemen will fully resume after two-month break, as Houthis ‘guarantee’ delivery

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

We must stop a devastating ‘battle to the end’ in southwest Syria, declares UN envoy

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s