WHO director in DRC: Ebola can be stopped if violence ends

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:09 AM PT — Monday, May 20, 2019

Health care workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have said the Ebola crisis plaguing the country can be resolved if violence in the region stops.

Over the weekend, the International Red Cross warned the Ebola virus could spread to urban areas outside of east DRC due to heightened instability in the region. This comes after the country’s Ministry of Health reported there have been over 1,000 deaths from the virus since 2018.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials said despite having sufficient supplies to stop the epidemic, ongoing violence against health workers have significantly hurt their efforts.

FILE – In this Tuesday April, 16, 2019 file photo, an Ebola health worker is seen at a treatment center in Beni, Eastern Congo. Internal documents by The Associated Press show the World Health Organization spent nearly $192 million on travel last year, with staffers sometimes breaking the rules by flying in business class, booking expensive last-minute tickets and traveling without the required approvals. (AP Photo/Al-hadji Kudra Maliro, file)

“The situation here in Congo is very different to that of West Africa, first of all. We have the tools to do the job, we have the surveillance, we have the vaccines, and we have a very strong team on the ground working with our ministry of health colleagues. What’s really, really set us back has been just the hugely intense bouts of violence and insecurity.”

— Dr. Michael Ryan, Director of Health Emergencies – WHO

Many experts in the region predict the epidemic may grow larger than the one in 2013, which killed over 11,000 people.

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