No Ebola in Ugnada - Ministry of Health clarifies

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 20, 2018

WHO declared a public health emergency of worldwide concern for an Ebola in August 2014 for the outbreak in West Africa that claimed 11,000 lives and was later determined to be the deadliest such outbreak.

Aid organisations have expressed alarm as the rate of new cases has more than doubled this month and community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent.

Uganda is at "big risk" of the spread of a deadly Ebola virus outbreak from neighbouring Congo, a senior health official said Thursday, even as he said the situation is "being handled well" there.

Following an International Health Regulations Emergency Committee meeting, the WHO concluded that the outbreak is of high regional importance, but is not now a global threat - and due to strong government leadership and a robust international response team already in place, there was no "added value" to declaring a PHEIC, they said.

A WHO declaration of a so-called public health emergency of worldwide concern (PHEIC) would have aimed to draw the world's attention and hopefully elicit a greater worldwide response to a health crisis with global implications.

The current outbreak of the highly infectious Ebola virus in northeastern Congo has had 185 confirmed cases, including 107 deaths.

"Based on the current context. the committee recommended that the current Ebola outbreak in DRC does not constitute a public health emergency of global concern", said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Since 2007, when the barometer was established, the World Health Organization has only declared a PHEIC four times: for swine flu in 2009, polio and Ebola in 2014, and Zika in 2016. He told the BBC ahead of the meeting that his country didn't want the declaration, saying that "I think the situation is quite under control".

"We will not rest until the outbreak is finished". In fact, he said the disease was being brought under control in North Kivu province.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, said Wednesday that the committee's decision was backed by "good reasons". It said this posed problems for health workers who need to move around freely and track people who are infected with the virus and need treatment.

The emergency committee reviewed the latest information on the latest outbreak and determined that it is of regional concern but not of global concern at this time.

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