The WHO Director-General has reported back from a New Year visit. Efforts to end the outbreak are continuing after recent disruptions, but further interruptions could have serious consequences, he warned.
“I’m concerned about the impact of the recent disruptions at this critical moment. This outbreak is occurring in the most difficult context imaginable. To end it the response needs to be supported and expanded, not further complicated. Ebola is unforgiving, and disruptions give the virus the advantage,” said Dr Tedros.
On the three-day mission to Beni, Butembo and Komanda, Dr Tedros took stock of the outbreak, spent time with affected communities, and personally thanked responders for their dedication.
“They’ve worked flat-out for months, away from their families, to combat one of the world’s deadliest viruses in a risky environment. I’m proud of them, and I wanted to tell them that personally over the New Year holiday.” Director of the Wellcome Trust and Chair of WHO’s Research and Development Blueprint Dr Jeremy Farrar joined the mission to see the outbreak first-hand.
Since the outbreak began in August 2018, there have been 608 cases and 368 deaths in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.
To date, more than 54,000 high-risk contacts and front line responders have been vaccinated, and almost every new patient receives one of four investigational treatments, something which was never previously possible during an Ebola outbreak.
Under the government’s leadership and working collaboratively with UN and NGO partners, WHO is committed to addressing these challenges and ending the outbreak.
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Married to an African, both of my children born in Africa, travelled extensively through Africa.. my soul is part of Africa. I write to inform, I write to make change, I write to educate.. I write in French, Spanish and English.