The recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worrying the Worlds Health Organization (WHO). Between 4th April and 13th May, 39 suspected cases of the sickness, including 19 deaths were reported. Three of them are healthcare workers.
To allow a proactive risk manage persons who came in touch with the patients are followed up and being controlled. In 50% of the cases, the patient dies from Ebola. Furthermore, the very high risk of infection eases the spread and the danger to become an epidemic increases.
WHO is getting prepared for the worst – case – scenario, even though the outbreak is not confirmed as a “public health event of international concern”, which would force the establishment of a WHO emergency committee.
UNICEF is making doctors, sanitation and hygiene specialist available. Moreover, mobile laboratories are sent to there as well as emergency health kits. After the Ethics Review committee granted the permission to use the experimental vaccines, under high logistic challenges they are going to be shipped soon. To prevent an international Ebola crisis, the neighbouring countries are on high alert.
The affected area, the Bikoro health zone, in the North West of the country, has a weak infrastructure and hospitals with limited functionality. It can only be reached by motorcycle or helicopter, which makes it difficult for the health organizations to get there.
“This is a highly complex sophisticated operation in one of the most difficult terrains on Earth”, WHO´s Deputy Director – General Salama describes the situation in its entire dimension.
Story by: Elisabeth Fitzke/pinkfmonlinegh.com