Health chiefs have warned that the challenges to stopping further transmission of Ebola are considerable, but say they are not insurmountable and must not “be an excuse for not getting the job done”.
The comments were made in a joint statement from the World Health Organization Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock; UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore; and World Food Programme Executive Director, David Beasley, this week to mark one year since the beginning of the current outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Since August 01 last year, almost 2,700 cases of Ebola have been reported with 1,790 deaths reported up to 28 July 2019. In recent weeks, the first cases of the disease have been confirmed in Goma, a city of around one million people. Authorities say transmission in this dense population centre underscores the "very real risk" of further spread of the disease.
The health leaders urged the international community to provide more support to tackle the outbreak. “At this critical juncture, we reaffirm our collective commitment to the people of the DRC; we mourn for those we have lost; and we call for solidarity to end this outbreak,” they added.