The United Kingdom has provided £1 million to support the rapid response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The funding is being released from the Department for International Development (DFID) and Wellcome Joint Initiative on Epidemic Preparedness and is being matched by a further £2 million being made available by Wellcome. The WHO has also released US $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to support response activities for the next 3 months, with the goal of stopping the spread of Ebola to surrounding provinces and countries.
The DFID says it is working with the government of the DRC and WHO to monitor the situation and be ready to act quickly to tackle the spread of the disease.
“The Ebola epidemic in 2014 highlighted that to save lives we need to act quickly to stop the spread of this disease,” said International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.
“We’re well-practised in responding to disease outbreaks and are coordinating across government to support the WHO in their leadership of the response. Vaccines have been stockpiled, we have built research and monitoring capacity, and the Rapid Support Team of health experts stand ready to be deployed if needed.”
She also thanked “the brave healthcare experts already working on this response, and on broader work to tackle disease outbreaks across the globe to stop these threats reaching our shores”.
On 8 May 2018, 2 cases of Ebola were confirmed in the town of Bikoro, near Mbandaka in the Equateur province of DRC. The situation is being monitored closely by international partners and the Ebola vaccine is currently stockpiled by the Global Vaccines Alliance.