Thursday , August 18 2022

Ebola death toll to pass 1 000 – ONE


The current epidemic of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed nearly 1 000 people, said the UN on Friday, that the "intense" spread of the virus will continue.

The World Health Organization had initially expressed hope that it would be possible to include the case declared in August in the east of the DRC, thanks in part to a new vaccine.

But in recent weeks WHO senior officials have surrendered that uncertainty in the restorative region, scarce financial resources and handling Ebola issue by local politicians to turn people against health workers has seriously undermined the containment effort.

"We are dealing with a difficult and volatile situation," said Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization Emergency Health Program, to reporters in Geneva.

"We anticipate a situation of sustained, intense transfer," he added.

From May 1, there were 1 510 Ebola cases in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces, with 994 deaths.

The death toll will "likely" pass 1 000 when WHO receives an update later on Friday, says Ryan.

The long-standing presence of various rebel groups in Ituri and North Kivu has made it difficult for health workers to have access to those who may have come into contact with Ebola, a figure which is currently 12 000 people.

But beyond the militia, communities following the December DRC elections are "treated" against collaboration with Ebola respondents, says Ryan.

"Communities need to be… sure that all parties are supportive of the public health response and that Ebola should not be politicized further in the process," he added.

Ryan said that the UN health agency currently has enough vaccine stocks to meet its needs but the doses can run short.

"We don't necessarily know in what way this case is going," he said.

The current Ebola case is the tenth in DRC in 40 years.

This is already the second most fatal record worldwide, after the epidemic hit West Africa in 2014-2016 and killed more than 11 300 people.

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