World Bank deploys $300 mn to DR Congo to contain Ebola outbreak

Ebola Plan ‘being updated’ Article by Barbados Today Published on July 23, 2019

Ebola Plan ‘being updated’ Article by Barbados Today Published on July 23, 2019

DRC's President Felix Tshisekedi last weekend appointed a team led by Jean-Jacques Muyembe, the head of Congo's biomedical research institute, to coordinate the government's response.

Mr Ilunga also criticised what he described as outside pressure to roll out a new experimental Ebola vaccine. I hereby submit my resignation as health minister.

He mentioned members of that committee had interfered with his work in recent months.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recognize any vaccine to protect people against Ebola, however an experimental vaccine known as rVSV-ZEBOV is now been used.

It is the second-largest ever outbreak in the country.

The USAID said that while the DRC has managed to successfully control nine other Ebola outbreaks, the current response presents a particular challenge because of the ongoing conflict in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

A local official says rebels have killed a dozen people in an area of eastern Congo where an Ebola virus outbreak has persisted for almost a year.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has urged countries in the region to enhance disease surveillance at ports of entry and at health facilities.

Though the disease has yet to spread beyond the DRC, its risk of doing so is high, especially as cases have begun to crop up in Goma, near the border with Rwanda. The town sits on the Rwandan border. This brings the total USAID funding for the response to Ebola to more than $136 million since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2018.

In a release issued Friday, the Ministry said the term Public Health Emergency of International Concern is defined in the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005) as an extraordinary event which is determined: to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease; and to potentially require a coordinated international response.

An Ebola epidemic devastated components of West Africa from 2014 to 2016 and killed more than 11,000 individuals.

Any closure of borders with the DRC could make it more hard to move people and medical supplies in or out of the affected area, potentially hindering response teams' efforts to end the epidemic.