WHO responds to Ebola outbreak in the DRC

Ebola Outbreak DRC
2 min read

In response to the most recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a statement saying that to date, the outbreak is reported in a remote area and appears to be geographically limited.

However, the WHO added that in view of the available data, the overall risk is considered high at the national level due to the nature of the disease and the lack of epidemiological and demographic information to estimate the magnitude of the epidemic.

“The overall risk at the regional level is considered moderate because of the proximity to the Congo river, which links with both the capitals of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic,” the WHO said.

Information is currently limited and investigations are ongoing to assess the full extent of the outbreak. Based on the information currently available and the rapid response measures implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with WHO and partners, the event does not meet the criteria of a public heath event of international concern as defined in the IHR, and does not warrant the convening of an Emergency Committee.

WHO advises against any restriction of travel and trade to Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the currently available information. WHO continues to monitor travel and trade measures in relation to this event, and currently there are no restrictions of the international traffic in place.

Public health response

The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo deployed Rapid Response Teams to investigate cases and deaths reported in Bikoro health zone in the Equateur province.
One million US dollars from the WHO contingency fund for emergencies have been mobilized.
WHO has provided technical and operations support to the Ministry of Health and Partners in the activation of multi-partner multi-agency Emergency Operations Centre to coordinate the response at all levels.
Médecins Sans Frontières is setting up a treatment centre for the management of cases in Bikoro health zone.
WHO has shared risk communication materials in French and Lingala with the WHO country offices.
Active surveillance activities among the community, the Ikoko-Impenge health centre team and Bikoro General Reference Hospital are being undertaken.
Immediate logistical capabilities and needs are being established.
Wellcome Trust is providing two million pounds sterling for the critical research needed to support the operational response which is now underway in the country.

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