Authorities have warned that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remains “dangerous and unpredictable” but say new measures to overcome challenges in the response have had a positive impact.
The comments from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN) Department of Peacekeeping follow a joint mission to the DRC last week to assess the outbreak.
Ebola response teams have faced a number of difficulties on the ground, but the authorities said the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, has recently taken an active approach to armed groups, which has contributed “to a period of calm” in the city of Beni in eastern DRC, the epicentre of the outbreak. Officials are also making greater use of community surveillance, whereby community members are trained to conduct contact tracing activities in areas others have difficulty accessing.
“The fact that we have so far prevented Ebola from spreading into neighbouring countries is a testament to the hard work and determination of staff from all partners,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “As complex and challenging as this outbreak is, I am confident that working together with the Ministry of Health, MONUSCO and all our partners, we can and will end it.”