The World Health Organization (WHO) has again reiterated calls for urgent action to stem the growing number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with almost 3,000 cases reported in just over a year.
As of 20 August, 2,927 Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases have been reported in the DRC, including 2,822 confirmed and 105 probable cases. Of these cases, 1,961 people have died, giving an overall case fatality ratio of 67 per cent. The vast majority of confirmed and probable cases (58%) were in women, with 28 per cent among children. To date, 154 health workers have been infected. In recent weeks, there has also been a geographic expansion of cases to new health zones.
Speaking at a briefing on Friday 23 August, Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said there is a need to “reflect on those stark numbers”. “We need to change this. We need to change the direction of the outbreak,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Bank is releasing US$50 million (€44.8 million) to support the WHO's operational work on the front lines of the outbreak.