WHO plans to declare DRC Ebola free


THE World Health Organisation (WHO)  says it has been over a month since the last Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) case was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo  (DRC).

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General disclosed this in the agency’s official twitter account @WHO.

“If it stays that way, the outbreak will be declared over in less than a month.

“WHO thanks all partners for their solidarity in staying the course in the service of the people of the country; my special thanks to the government,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, in a statement posted on the agency’s website, it stated that there have been no new cases of EVD reported in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since Feb. 17.

“However, because there is still a risk of re-emergence of EVD, it is critical to maintaining surveillance and response operations until and after the end of outbreak declaration – as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the EVD outbreak.

“Unfortunately, the response faces increasing limitations that could result in delayed detection and control of flare-ups.

“ These limitations include a funding shortfall, ongoing insecurity and lack of access to some areas, and limited staffing and resources amidst other local and global emergencies.’’

According to the statement, no funding for the Ebola response has been received by WHO since December, 2019.

“An urgent injection of 20 million dollars is required to ensure that response teams have the capacity to maintain the appropriate level of operations through to the beginning of May 2020.

“ If no new resources are received, WHO risks running out of funds for the Ebola response before the end of the outbreak.

“Ongoing response activities include investigating and validating new alert cases, supporting appropriate care and rapid diagnosis of suspected cases.

“Suspected cases (which continue to be detected), supporting survivors through a multi-disciplinary programme, and strategically transitioning activities.’’

The UN agency said From Marc 9 to March 15,  over 32, 000 alerts were reported and investigated.

It said of these, 2,550 alerts were validated as suspected cases, requiring specialised care and laboratory testing to rule-out EVD.

“ During this same period, 2760 samples were tested, including 1565 blood samples from alive suspected cases, 405 swabs from community deaths, and 790 samples from re-tested patients,’’ it stated. (NAN)

– Mar. 20, 2020 @ 10:59 GMT |

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