The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared the end of the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which started in August 2018. The outbreak killed over 2,200 people in the east of the country. The Ebola virus causes an often-fatal fever that spreads through close contact with bodily fluids.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, thanked the government of DRC, partner organizations, local communities, and health workers for their hard work and dedication. Although there were security challenges in the region and ongoing conflicts that hindered efforts to control the outbreak, the collective efforts paid off.

“This is a sign of hope that with solidarity and science, epidemics can be controlled,” said Dr. Tedros.

The outbreak was contained through rigorous interventions such as vaccinating over 300,000 people, tracing tens of thousands of potential contacts, and deploying treatment centers. The WHO and its partners also used innovative approaches such as using a second Ebola vaccine and therapeutic drugs during the outbreak.

However, WHO and other health organizations warn that the risk of future outbreaks remains high in the DRC due to several factors, such as insecurity, weak health systems, and mistrust in health workers.

“This outbreak has shown that when local communities are engaged, and leaders step up, and partners work together in solidarity, the outbreak can be controlled,” said Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa.

Therefore, the WHO is urging the DRC government and its partners to maintain and strengthen the systems put in place during the recent outbreak. This includes investing in health infrastructure, training more healthcare workers, and continuing to work with local communities to improve their trust and participation in response efforts.


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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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