The Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday declared end to the Ebola Virus that has been ravaging the country.
According to the World Health Organisation, the last outbreak which is the 15th in the East African country occurred in North Kievu region, in the eastern part of the country six weeks ago killing a 46-year-old woman who died after 23 days in hospital.
Jean-Jacques Mbungani, DR Congo Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention said, while making the declaration.
“After 42 days of reinforced surveillance without a new confirmed case, and according to the WHO protocol, I am happy to declare the end of the 15th Ebola Virus disease epidemic in North Kivu, which lasted one month and 12 days,” the public health minister said.
The minister who praised the rapid response team and efforts of health workers in DR Congo, said “The resurgence of Ebola occurred in the health zone of Beni which has been under siege since May 2021.
“It is in this context that the response was organised. Thanks to the achievements of previous epidemics, the expertise of local teams and their professionalism have made it possible to contain this disease within the limits of the health area in the Beni zone,” Dr Mbungani said.
The end of the 15th Ebola outbreak in DR Congo is coming as Uganda is suffering another round of outbreak of the Sudan string of the Ebola Virus which has killed 23 people so far according to confirmed cases figures, forcing the Ugandan government to limit social gatherings and putting the country on high alert to curtail the spread of the virus which for now, has no vaccine.
Keeping an eye on the outbreak in Uganda and warning that Ebola is not yet completely defeated, the minister said
“The ecosystem of our country and the high number of people recovered from previous Ebola outbreaks constitute a high and permanent risk for our country of a resurgence of Ebola disease”
This is why we must further strengthen our epidemiological surveillance in general and in particular around those who have recovered, while reflecting on appropriate strategies to be put in place for all areas at risk.”
In relation to the outbreak in Uganda he warned that protocols of checking who comes into the country through the border with Uganda should be properly checked and response team should be on alert to deal with any emergency.
“In view of the outbreak of Ebola in Uganda, cross-border surveillance should be strengthened and a preparedness plan should be put in place to be able to rapidly detect any public health emergency and thus reduce the burden of morbidity and mortality,” said Dr Jean-Jacques Mbungani.
Ebola since detected in 1976 in bats has been an epidemic that has killed about 15,266 persons around Africa.
A total of 28,616 cases of Ebola virus disease and 11,310 deaths were reported in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone alone in the 2014 outbreak which ravaged West African countries.
The outbreak of the Sudan string of the virus in Uganda has put the entire continent on high alert for any emergency.