Six months into DR Congo’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, top UN official praises ‘brave’ response effort

© UNICEF/UN0264163/Hubbard Thomas Kakule Manole looks on as an Ebola survivor cares for his one week old daughter, Benedicte, in an isolation tent at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, in the eastern DRC. Thomas’ wife died of Ebola and his daughter Benedicte is also infected.

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


“Brave” UN teams and partners leading the fight against deadly Ebola disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) along with Government authorities and peacekeepers there, have been key in helping protect communities, a top World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Friday, six months after the latest outbreak began.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, was speaking to journalists in Geneva, where she said that challenges persist in overcoming virus hotspots in the north-east of the country.

“We have some 500 staff on the ground at the moment, the great majority from the DRC, and also from WHO offices across the African region. Some of these people have been fighting Ebola since the first 2018 outbreak began in the west of the DRC in May. These brave people and colleagues really do make us all proud.”

To date, Ebola has claimed 461 lives in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, and 258 people have recovered from the illness, which attacks the immune system, causing internal-bleeding and major organ damage, if unchecked.

Dr. Moeti said that although there have been successes in bringing the disease under control in Beni and Mangina, the outbreak continues to affect a wide geographical area. There has also been a rise in the number of reported cases, including in Katwa health zone.

In addition to nine treatment centres, WHO has traced more than 45,000 people who have come into contact with suspected Ebola sufferers.

More than 69,000 people have been vaccinated in DRC to date, including 21,000 health-workers and 16,000 children.

More than 30 million people have been screened at the country’s borders and vaccinations have also begun in neighbouring South Sudan and Uganda.

Insecurity remains one of the biggest obstacles stopping health-workers from reaching those at risk in the vast country, in an area where more than 100 armed groups operate.

“The situation in North Kivu is actually relatively calm compared to the pre-election period, and obviously calm is a relative term in North Kivu and Ituri, there’s a constant threat of violence and attack from non-government forces,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, Assistant Director-General for Emergencies at WHO.

“But I would echo Dr. Moeti’s thanks to our colleagues in MONUSCO (the UN’s stabilization mission in DRC) and the Force Intervention Brigade who continue to provide active defence for Beni, Butembo and surrounding areas.”

An additional obstacle to healthworkers is suspicion among communities. Despite the challenges, major advances are being made in tackling DRC’s worst Ebola outbreak, helped by a new therapy now being tested on patients with their consent.

“This is the first time we’ve managed to deliver so many therapeutics with the higher standard of care into an integrated system for managing patients in a safe and dignified way,” he said.

“The results are encouraging in the sense anecdotally when you look at those results you are seeing on the face of it higher levels of survival”, he said, adding that “we have to be extremely careful, there are lots of biases there regarding the condition of the patient when they arrive…but we are certainly encouraged by the data we’re seeing.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

To my Chinese friend

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

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