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Updated On: Tuesday, 19 June 2018
Development Issues

WHO Vaccinating Against Ebola

Content by: South-South News

30 May 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — The World Health Organization (WHO) said on May 25 that WHO is responding to the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by coordinating with the government to supply vaccination, basic protective equipment, and setting up mobile laboratories.

Speaking to reporters via videoconference from Geneva today, Peter Salama, WHO’s Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, said “After May 8th, in the space about 48 hours, we initiated instant management system at all levels of WHO in coordination with the Government of the DRC.”

He added, “We were able to advance within a few hours 2 million dollars to start the response to supply basic protective equipment to the teams on the ground to get to Mbandaka and Bikoro. We were about to advance international emergency health kits and we were able to set up mobile laboratory.”

Salama also noted that his organization is scaling up the response in terms of the region.

He said, “There are nine countries that we rated at high risk, they are the neighboring countries of the DRC. And we are working to deploy a team to each of the countries, so each of those countries is prepared well, and particularly with the first priority of the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.”

The outbreak was originally declared on May 8 in Bikoro, a remote region in Equateur Province.

Latest data from DRC health authorities indicates a total of 52 cases of Ebola in the north-west of the country; 31 of these are confirmed, 13 are probable and eight are suspect.

There have been 22 deaths so far. The overall caseload and death toll have been revised downwards, reflecting the fact that some samples have either tested negative for the hemorrhagic disease, or that their link to Ebola has been ruled out. But concerns are still high that the disease could spread easily from Mbandaka - a city of over a million people – given its regular river transport links to DRC’s capital, Kinshasa.

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