The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said today, after a visit to the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) affected by the latest Ebola epidemic, that "the end of the disease is still far away. "
The efforts made by volunteers and medical personnel in the field are "really commendable," Tedros said at a press conference, adding: "Although that is encouraging, we are far from the end of the disease in that area of the DRC." .
The current Ebola epidemic affects two of the most conflictive regions of the DRC, North Kivu and Ituri, and has left 191 probable deaths (of which 156 have been tested in the laboratory) in 308 cases (273 confirmed and 35 probable) .
Tedros did with the emergency director of that agency, Peter Salama, and the Deputy General Secretary of the UN in charge of peace missions, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, a visit of several days to the affected areas to see the extent of the epidemic and the work done by the various UN agencies.
The pending challenges, according to the WHO director general, are the resistance and distrust of the communities and the high population density of the area.
It is the first time that an Ebola epidemic is declared in a conflict zone, where a hundred rebel groups are active, so since the beginning of the epidemic on August 1, the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, MONUSCO also cooperates in the response to the disease.
In its latest bulletin on Ebola, the Congolese Health Ministry reported today that three civil protection agents and an epidemiologist who supervised the safe burial of an Ebola victim were kidnapped in the town of Matembo by a group of Mai rebels. -Mai
The Minister of Health, Oly Ilunga, said at the press conference next to the WHO representatives that these hostages had already been released.
On October 30, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution expressing its concern over the outbreak and calling for the cessation of fighting in the area to facilitate the fight against the disease.
The Council warned that the security situation in the affected areas is "facilitating the spread of the virus in the DRC and in the region."
The most devastating Ebola outbreak was declared in March 2014 and affected Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The WHO declared the end of that epidemic, in which 11,300 people died and more than 28,500 were infected, in January 2016.