WHO declares Ebola global health emergency

July 18, 2019
Geneva: The World Health Organisation(WHO) on Wednesday declared the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo as a global Public Health concern.

“It is time for the world to take notice and redouble our efforts. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system,” said Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom GhebreyesusDr.

The outbreak, the second largest in history, has infected more than 2,500 people, two-thirds of whom have died. It broke out in August 2018.

The WHO declaration came after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for EVD in the DRC. The Committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world, WHO said.

The Committee expressed disappointment about delays in funding which have constrained the response. .

“It is important that the world follows these recommendations. It is also crucial that states do not use the PHEIC as an excuse to impose trade or travel restrictions, which would have a negative impact on the response and on the lives and livelihoods of people in the region,” said Professor Robert Steffen, chair of the Emergency Committee.

Since it was declared almost a year ago the outbreak has been classified as a level 3 emergency – the most serious – by WHO, triggering the highest level of mobilization from WHO. The UN has also recognized the seriousness of the emergency by activating the Humanitarian System-wide Scale-Up to support the Ebola response.

–India News Stream