The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for international efforts to stop outbreaks of deadly diseases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The call to action was made as the organisation officially announced the end of the ninth outbreak of Ebola in the DRC on Tuesday (July 24).
Unlike previous Ebola outbreaks in the country, this latest outbreak involved four separate locations, including an urban centre with river connections to the capital and neighbouring countries and there were concerns that the disease could spread to other locations.
The WHO activated an emergency incident management system within hours of the outbreak being declared on May 8, with a ring vaccination of contacts getting underway on May 21 using an investigational vaccine.
The WHO has now urged both the DRC Government and the international community to build on the positive momentum generated by the quick containment of the Ebola outbreak. “This effective response to Ebola should make the Government and partners confident that other major outbreaks affecting the country such as cholera and polio can also be tackled,” said WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We must continue to work together, investing in strengthened preparedness and access to healthcare for the most vulnerable.”