UN working ‘intensively’ to stop Ebola in eastern DR Congo, following second case in major border town

UNICEF/Vincent Tremeau A health worker checks a child potentially infected with Ebola being carried on the back of a caregiver at the Ebola Treatment Centre of Beni, North-Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo. (24 March 2019)

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


Senior UN officials tasked with controlling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have responded to Tuesday’s confirmation of a second case of Ebola in Goma, a major trading town in the vast country’s restive east, near the border with neighbouring Rwanda, which resulted in the death of the patient.

On Wednesday, David Gressley, the UN Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator, and Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response at the World Health Organization (WHO), released a joint statement announcing that they are “working intensively” to halt any further spread.

Surveillance is being stepped up at all entry and exit points in the area, but more needs to be done to eradicate Ebola, the officials said, calling for a “strong, resilient health system” to avoid a resurgence of the disease in DRC.

The senior officials stated that there is no evidence that the second case in Goma is linked to the first confirmed case. The first concerned a pastor who travelled to Goma from Butembo in North Kivu. The second is a miner who had been working in Ituri. The disease is centred in both provinces.

The reports of the second case of Ebola come a day after the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, said that it needs to trip its budget to tackle the complex crisis, which is complicated by ongoing conflict, and an outbreak of measles.

On Friday, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that, over the next six months, it is planning to scale up and double food assistance to people affected by the disease, in preparation for a potential further escalation of the epidemic.

The WFP support is for 440,000 “Ebola-affected” people in DRC, which includes contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases.

Senior UN officials mark one year since Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC

The discovery of this new case comes just ahead of the marking tomorrow, 1 August, of one year since the Government of the DRC declared an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in North Kivu province. Two weeks ago, it was declared a public health emergency of international concern.

“This latest case in such a dense population center underscores the very real risk of further disease transmission, perhaps beyond the country’s borders, and the very urgent need for a strengthened global response and increased donor investment,” said top officials from the WFP, WHO, UNICEF and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In the last year, there have been more than 2,600 confirmed cases, including more than 1,800 deaths in parts of Ituri and North Kivu provinces. Almost one in three ‘cases’ is a child. Every single ‘case’ is someone who has gone through an unimaginable ordeal. More than 770 have survived.

“The disease is relentless and devastating,” said a joint statement from WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, and WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

“The challenges to stopping further transmission are indeed considerable. But none are insurmountable. And none can be an excuse for not getting the job done. The United Nations and partners are continuing to ramp up the response in support of the Government and to further bolster joint action, the UN leaders said.

Efforts carried out by UN and parters to support Government-led response

  • Over 170,000 people vaccinated;
  • 1,300 people treated with investigational therapies across 14 treatment and transit centres;
  • 77 million screenings of national and international travelers;
  • 20,000 contacts visited daily to ensure they do not also become sick;
  • 3,000 samples tested in 8 laboratories every week;
  • More than 10,000 handwashing sites installed in critical locations;
  • More than 2,000 community engagement workers operating in affected – areas listening to concerns, gaining trust, and mobilizing local action;
  • Over 440,000 patients and contacts provided with food assistance, crucial to limiting movement among people who could spread the disease; and
  • Daily meals provided to 25,000 schoolchildren in Ebola-affected areas to help build trust within communities.

Full statement here.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

The EU prepares for the end of LIBOR: the Commission welcomes the agreement reached between the European Parliament and the Council on financial benchmarks

US resolution to condemn activities of Hamas voted down in General Assembly

Women Win in the West

YouTubers are teaming up to plant 20 million trees

Car emissions: MEPs set end on gap between lab and real driving emission tests

Will satellites destroy our view of space?

Commission presents ways to further strengthen the euro’s global role

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

Data protection: MEPs urge the Commission to amend UK adequacy decisions

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

EU-wide survey shows Europeans support the launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – Middle East and North Africa

Reckless Prescriptions: Lunatic Ideas Put By Great People Are Genius

On World Bee day, human activity blamed for falling pollinator numbers

Space science now a ‘fundamental pillar’ of 21st century human development: top UN space official

Abuse of authority provisions adopted by the Senate raise concerns over Brazil’s capacity to ensure independence of prosecutors and judges in fighting corruption

Inclusion, empowerment and equality, must be ‘at the heart of our efforts’ to ensure sustainable development, says UN chief

This is how companies are working together to create a world without waste

Nairobi summit: Women’s empowerment a ‘game changer’ for sustainable development

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

Disease slashing global meat output, cereals boom, bananas under watch: FAO

Migrant workers sent more money to India than any other country last year

3 strategies for Africa to thrive in this new era of globalization

COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050

A Trumpist squad shook Davos and the world

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

Health challenges need predictable healthcare investment policies. Japan’s example shows why

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

European Union disenchanted with Turkey

Emergency coronavirus research: Commission selects 18th project to develop rapid diagnostics

Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

Protecting people working through platforms: Commission launches a first-stage consultation of the social partners

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

Christine Lagarde: This is what we can still learn from the Great War

Coronavirus: additional ventilators dispatched to Czechia via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

Antitrust: Commission launches sector inquiry into the consumer Internet of Things (IoT)

Tackling ‘deeply worrying’ global rise in anti-Semitism is a job for all societies everywhere, says UN chief

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution needs more arts graduates

Could entrepreneurship be the real cure against the side effects of Brexit?

Measles ‘misinformation campaigns’ through social media, fuel rising toll

What is carbon offsetting?

Commission puts in place transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines

FROM THE FIELD: Chad returnees’ reluctant homecoming

Beyond ‘business as usual’. Addressing the climate change crisis

EU Summit’s major takeaway: a handkerchief cannot save Greece from austerity

4 essential qualities for digital leaders

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

Brexit: With May gone the Tory divide is to sink the UK despite Brits wanting to ‘Remain’

Serious concerns over Sahel, require ‘urgent action’: Senior UN Africa official

Localized microfactories – the new face of globalized manufacturing

Migrants, asylum seekers detained in Hungary ‘deliberately deprived of food’: UN human rights office

This is our chance to completely redefine the meaning of work

6 reasons why Africa’s new free trade area is a global game changer

‘Embrace the transformation’ to a carbon-neutral world by 2050, UN chief tells COP25

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds: new UN health agency report

What happiness can teach us about how we measure human development

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