Health Business Kenya

Ebola outbreak not global emergency yet – WHO

2019-04-16

The World Health Organization says the spread of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is not yet a global health emergency.

The Ebola outbreak is the second biggest in history – infecting 1,206 people and killing 764. It shows no sign of being contained soon.

Efforts by healthcare workers have been hampered by conflict and rebel attacks.

And experts have warned it will be “very difficult to bring it under control”.

But Prof Robert Steffen, chairman of the WHO’s emergency committee on Ebola, said declaring an emergency would not change anything on the ground.

He said: “It does not mean we can lean back and relax.

“Funds are now needed to avoid a public health emergency of international concern.”

The World Health Organization said it had received only half the money it needed to tackle the disease.

The outbreak started in August 2018 and is still contained within two provinces in DRC – North Kivu and Ituri.

However, the WHO has warned a “rising number of security incidents” has been making it hard to monitor the spread of the virus, vaccinate people and contact anyone who has been in contact with an Ebola patient.

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