The World Health Organisation (WHO) has on Wednesday declared the end of the 11th outbreak of the Ebola Virus epidemic in the western part of DR Congo (DRC), ending a nearly six months disease outbreak that claimed 55 lives out of 119 confirmed infected cases and 11 suspected cases.
"I am happy to solemnly declare the end of the 11th epidemic of the Ebola virus," Health Minister of DRC, Eteni Longondo said, adding that the outbreak occurred at remote areas of rivers and lake houses, increasing chances of further spread of the disease to neighboring provinces.
“There remains a high risk of a resurgence, and this should be an alarm signal for strengthening the monitoring system,” the minister warned.
Speaking, WHO regional director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said, "Overcoming one of the world’s most dangerous pathogens in remote and hard to access communities demonstrates what is possible when science and solidarity come together,"
“Tackling Ebola in parallel with COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, but much of the expertise we’ve built in one disease is transferrable to another and underlines the importance of investing in emergency preparedness and building local capacity,” she added.
Also noting that the transportation technology used in conveying the Ebola vaccine will be helpful during the COVID-19 vaccine exercise in Africa.
The Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong congratulated the DRC government, health workers, and communities on the end of the outbreak.