The World Health Organization (WHO) is scaling up its response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
While the WHO says “substantial progress” has been made on multiple fronts to address the situation, it said poor infection prevention and control practices at numerous health centres continue to amplify the outbreak, while non-engagement from communities and conflict continue to hamper response activities in some affected areas.
In its latest disease outbreak update, it emphasised the need to “improve quality, judiciously deploy new tools at our disposal, and sustain international commitment to response efforts well into 2019”.
As of 11 December, 505 cases, including 296 deaths, had been reported in the DRC. A total of 51 health workers have been infected to date, of whom 17 have died. Some 177 patients have recovered to date.
The WHO said the risk of national and regional spread is very high and that it is continuing to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure that health authorities are alerted and are operationally prepared to respond to the spread of the outbreak.