World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
“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 Dr Tedros. “Extraordinary work has been done for almost a year under the most difficult circumstances. We all owe it to these responders - coming from not just WHO but also government, partners and communities - to shoulder more of the burden.”
The declaration follows last week's meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The Committee said recent developments in the outbreak underpin the decision, 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.
The Committee expressed disappointment about delays in funding which have constrained the response and made a number of specific recommendations related to this outbreak.
The United Nations has also activated a humanitarian system-wide scale-up to support the response efforts.