“EBOLA CRISIS IN CONGO NOT AN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY”- WHO
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“EBOLA CRISIS IN CONGO NOT AN INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY”- WHO

Apr 13, 2019 | Jimmie Kariuki

The World Health Organization has ruled out an Ebola outbreak that has killed up to 700 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo as being a World emergency.

According to the Committee Chairperson Robert Steffen, the committee unanimously decided that the outbreak was not yet a global emergency and that making such an announcement would endanger the lives of the response teams that are already on ground. Steffen also said that such an announcement would evoke mixed reactions with most of them affecting the people in Congo negatively.

The Chairperson further expressed optimism that the virus would be contained within no time even though he did not give a specific timeline as to when they expect to fully eradicate the virus.

The UN Department that deals with World Health further that even though the Ebola virus was not a threat to the whole world, the re-emergence of the virus should spiral deep concerns to all the Health Stakeholders.

The Body during a meeting attended by Health Experts Committee members and chaired by Robert Steffen further called for efforts to combat the deadly virus noting that the more the virus spread, the higher the chances of it spreading to other countries were.

However, a few days ago, Emanuele Capobianco who is the Head of Health and Care at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies had expressed his fears over the spread of the virus to other countries.

“I am more concerned than I have ever been concerning the possible spread of Ebola throughout the neighboring countries and the region.” Emanuele said citing the data from Congo’s Ministry of Health.

This comes after Congo’s Ministry of Health on Friday announced that as per Thursday, there were 1,206 confirmed cases of people infected with the virus with over 764 deaths since the outbreak was announced on August 1st, last year.

The World Health Organization had previously admitted that the organization was short of the $148 Million (14.8 Billion shillings) estimates of the funding required to help contain Ebola in Congo over the next six months after having achieved only $74 Million which is nearly half the cost estimates.

This becomes the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in History since the 2014-2016 outbreak in West African countries that killed more than 11,000 people.

Up to date, there is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola Virus Disease. Scientists have been experimenting on an Experimental Vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV that has proved to be highly protective against one strain of the Ebola virus.

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