The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has praised the efforts of responders to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but has said he is “worried by the immense challenges they face in such a complex environment".
Dr Tedros travelled to the DRC last week to review the response to the outbreak. He highlighted how recent insecurity and civic unrest have slowed down the response and stressed continued efforts are needed to help contain the outbreak. “I’m concerned about the impact of the recent disruptions at this critical moment,” he said. “To end it the response needs to be supported and expanded, not further complicated. Ebola is unforgiving, and disruptions give the virus the advantage,” he added.
The WHO currently has 380 response staff in the DRC who are working with hundreds more from the DRC Ministry of Health and partners to tackle the outbreak. “The Ebola responders are sacrificing a lot,” said Dr Tedros. “They’ve worked flat-out for months, away from their families, to combat one of the world’s deadliest viruses in a risky environment. I’m proud of them, and I wanted to tell them that personally over the New Year holiday.”