AU vows efforts to mitigate new Ebola outbreak in DRC

Grant Boone
May 16, 2018

Orly Ilunga, the Congolese Minister of Health, who received the vaccine in Kinshasa, indicated that the batch received from WHO will be stored first in the laboratory of the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, before being transported to the health zone of Bikoro, in the province of Equateur in the north-west of the country where the Ebola epidemic had been declared since May 8th. A new experimental vaccine has been shown to be highly effective, though quantities are now limited.

According to the World Health Organisation on Monday, a total of 39 Ebola virus disease cases had been reported in DRC from April 4 through May 13, including 19 deaths. These were sequel to a motion moved to that effect by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC, Lagos Central).

The upper chamber also urged the Minister of Interior to take necessary steps to check immigration.

Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90% caused by Ebola virus, a member of the filovirus family.

The Senate urged Nigerians who travel to other African countries "to ensure the utmost level of care to avoid getting infected".

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While the risk of the latest outbreak spreading into other countries is low, nine nearby countries have been put on high alert, Salama said.

"The aim is for health officials to start using the vaccine, once it's shipped, by the end of the week, or next week if there are difficulties, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus..."

"Senate also notes report of World Health Organization stating that Nigeria and other African countries are at modest risk of spread".

"The Senate is anxious that unless we prepare our hospitals, properly equipped with the Ebola vaccine where necessary, this is an epidemic we might be unable to take up and will only cause untold hardship".

DRC's health ministry announced the Ebola outbreak on May 8 after two cases were confirmed in Bikoro. "The Senate is further anxious that if we do nothing, given our population, we may well be on our way to creating a global situation".

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