World Health Organization says Ebola outbreak not yet global emergency

World Health Organization says Ebola outbreak not yet global emergency

The global medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) made the following statement after the World Health Organization decided today to not declare a Public Health Emergency of worldwide Concern for the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"Now we see that we are regaining that access and it is normal when you start regaining that access that you start seeing those cases that you have not seen when you didn't have access, and that partially explains the rise in numbers", he said. Many new cases are still unconnected with known ones, a sign of the challenges that remain in a dense and highly mobile population.

Based on the above advice, the reports made by the affected State Party, and the now available information, the Director-General accepted the Committee's assessment and on 12 April 2019 did not declare the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. That follows record-breaking days of 18 cases on April 10 and 20 cases yesterday.

"We can not intensify our efforts if we don't have enough funds". "Working with communities to understand their concerns and needs, we will also step up support to neighboring countries".

Tedros urged the worldwide community to step up its financial commitment to ending the outbreak.

"The gap slows surveillance activities, which leads to more cases", he said.

In a question-and-answer session that at times put the World Health Organization on the defensive, Ryan was quick to point out the successes seen in the outbreak.

"Without it, we can't stop the outbreak". Many accuse the government of not protecting them from attacks.

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But Ryan was firm in refusing to give an estimate as to how long the outbreak will continue.

Tedros echoed Ryan, stating the World Health Organization has never tried to contain an Ebola outbreak in such a "complex" environment.

One out of four people interviewed in eastern Congo a month after the outbreak began believed Ebola wasn't real, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal last month.

It held off making such a declaration at an initial meeting in October, but concerns have mounted since, notably from Doctors Without Borders, which recently warned that the response was failing to contain the epidemic.

"Whatever the official status of this outbreak is, it is clear that the outbreak is not under control and therefore we need a better collective effort". Last month, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement - IFRC, and the International Committee of the Red Cross - launched a revised emergency appeal for 31.5 million Swiss francs to support response activities in DR Congo as well as preparedness activities in neighbouring countries.

Ron Klain, the United States Ebola response coordinator during the West African outbreak, took to Twitter to criticize the WHO.

Tedros also said communities needed to get involved in the fight against the disease.

A new experimental Ebola vaccine has been shown to be effective.

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