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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

Who is to lose from the 6-month extension of the EU economic sanctions against Russia?

US and Mexico child deportations drive extreme violence and trauma: UNICEF

African continent ‘an example of solidarity’ towards migrants and refugees: UN chief

Alice in Colombia

Fed and ECB prepare a new party for the financial sharks

Job vacancy data reveal better prospects for Britain, stagnation in Eurozone

Eurozone 2013: Where to?

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

Idea of ‘homogenous’ Polish culture is a myth: UN human rights expert

Bring killers of journalists to justice: UN agency seeks media partners for new campaign

Distributed ownership: what it means and how it could transform India

American negotiators can’t pay for their trip to Brussels, EU-US trade agreement freezes

This 12-year-old built an underwater robot to fight plastic pollution

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

In 2019, ‘reasons for hope’ in a world still on ‘red alert’: UN chief Guterres

First full satellite survey of devastated ancient Aleppo raises recovery hopes

Making money from meeting the SDGs? An overarching approach to sustainable development.

On the detention of children in the United States of America

Here are the biggest cybercrime trends of 2019

Newly displaced fleeing attacks in northeast Nigeria, top 2,000

EU migration crisis again accentuates lack of unity and solidarity among member states

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

250 days until the European Parliament elections

Access to ‘affordable’ medicines in India: challenges & solutions

Mass-graves found of at least 535 killed during ‘organized and planned’ inter-communal attacks in western DR Congo

Why a healthy planet and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand

Climate change and health: Raising awareness is the key for greener actions

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

How Abu Dhabi found a way to grow vegetables in 40-degree heat

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “CO2 is not the problem, it is the symptom”, the pilots who crossed the world using solar energy cry out from Davos

European Youth cries out: Sustainable Development Goals ambitious, but lack focus on youth

How ducks are helping Bangladeshi farmers cope with cyclones

Dreaming of China

Healing of ozone layer gives hope for climate action: UN report

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

Getting vaccinated should just be considered a human right?

Brexit may finally not really happen; The Brits have second thoughts

Human rights ‘core to sustainable development’: deputy UN chief

Laws must protect, ‘not reject’ says UNAIDS chief on Zero Discrimination Day

Commission threatens Chinese firms with trade penalties

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

IMF: How To Deal With Failed Banks

EU job-search aid worth €9.9m for 1,858 former Air France workers

The financial war touches Frankfurt and Berlin

Time to say goodbye to the plastic straw. But what’s the best alternative?

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

As children in Ebola-affected areas of DR Congo head back to school, UNICEF ramps up support

European Union: More taxes out of less income

Indonesia’s imams are joining the fight against plastic bags

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

European Youth Capital 2018 : Cascais

Don’t dismiss start-ups founded by millennials. This is how they succeed

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Is Germany closer to Russia than the West? Nord Stream II and Iran count more

Here are three ways the private sector can act as a sustainability catalyst for Globalization 4.0

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