The International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 Emergency Committee will convene today (Friday) to discuss the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and decide whether the outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.
It comes just days after authorities confirmed three Ebola cases in Uganda, the first cases in the country during the current Ebola outbreak in the neighbouring DRC.
The first case was identified in a five-year-old who had travelled from DRC on 9 June, after attending the burial of his grandfather who died from Ebola. Ebola was also confirmed in the child’s grandmother and his three-year-old brother. The five-year-old boy and his grandmother have died.
Uganda has previous experience of Ebola outbreaks and has vaccinated nearly 4,700 health workers in 165 health facilities in preparation for spread of the current outbreak in DRC.
Authorities are now working to contain the spread of the disease in the country, including by intensifying community education, providing psychosocial support and undertaking vaccination of contacts and at-risk health workers who were not previously vaccinated. The country’s Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) have dispatched a rapid response team to the area.