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Archive for the category “Health”

Zimbabwe: Itai Dzama Trust Statement on the Abduction of Dr. Magombeyi (16.09.2019)

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As Ebola cases reach 3000 in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), WHO calls on all partners to fulfill promises to communities (30.08.2019)

With a population of 80 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has more than 4 million displaced and is home to the world’s second largest food crisis.

GENEVA, Switzerland, August 30, 2019 -As the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reaches 3000 cases, WHO calls for the full force of all partners to respond and increase their presence in the field to stop Ebola and to address one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world.“Our commitment to the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is that we will work alongside them to stop the Ebola outbreak,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  “Our commitment also means strengthening the health systems to give them all the other things they need. Building strong systems is what will protect people, communities and the world.“

With a population of 80 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has more than 4 million displaced and is home to the world’s second largest food crisis with 13 million people food insecure. Since January 2019, there have been outbreaks of cholera (15 331 cases, 287 deaths), measles (161 397 cases, 3117 deaths) and malaria, the leading cause of death in the DRC, which kills more than 48 000 people every year.

Dr Tedros will accompany UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on his mission to the country this weekend, along with senior officials, including Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

“We are working in an incredibly complex environment, but thanks to support from donors and actions taken by the Ministry of Health, WHO and partners, we have saved thousands of lives,” said Dr Moeti. “We strive towards a much more united approach and call on NGOs and UN partners to continue to accelerate all activities. Everyone has a role to play and we each must be accountable for what we signed up to do, only then will we end this outbreak.”

The outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018. As of 27 August, there have been 2997 cases of Ebola, with 1998 deaths and 893 survivors. Most of the cases are in North Kivu province. In the past 10 weeks, an average of 80 people per week are sickened by the virus.

More than 200 000 people have been vaccinated against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with health and frontline workers in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi. Two therapeutic treatments being used in the country as part of a clinical trial have shown to save 9 of 10 lives if used at the right time.

More than 89 million screenings within the country and at international borders have helped control the spread, by identifying and providing care to anyone with symptoms. On 29 August, Ugandan health officials announced confirmation of another case in the country: a child who had crossed over from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As this alert underlines, regional preparedness will remain key.

Uganda: Ministry of Health – Press Release – Confirmation of an Imported Ebola Viruse Disease case in Kasese District (29.08.2019)

Joint Press Release – Weekly Travel Advisory on Ebola Viruse Disease in Uganda (08.08.2019)

Lucha: Communique – RDC, Beni: les massacres ont cinq ans, Ebola un an, Une reponse globale s’impose (01.08.2019)

UNICEF must triple budget to combat Ebola outbreak in DR Congo; complex crisis impacting unprecedented number of children (31.07.2019)

The UNICEF expert said there were 2,671 confirmed cases of Ebola as of 28 July including more than 700 children.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 31, 2019 -With an unprecedented number of children affected by the Ebola virus outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday said it would need to triple its budget to tackle the complex crisis, which included intensifying the overall public health response and launching measles vaccinations.

“This Ebola response is far more complex because it is in an active conflict zone,” Jerome Pfaffmann, a UNICEF health specialist, told reporters in Geneva, just back from his third visit to the country.

He underscored that “people in the (eastern Congolese) provinces of North Kivu and Ituri are facing humanitarian and public health crises,” and in addition, half the health facilities in Ituri had been damaged or destroyed over the last two years.

The UNICEF expert said there were 2,671 confirmed cases of Ebola as of 28 July, including more than 700 children, more than half of whom – some 57 per cent – were under five years of age.

“When I left, there were 12 new confirmed cases, five were alive and will have the chance to access treatment, but seven had died in the community. This is bad. Having this number of community deaths means we are not ahead of the epidemic,” he said.

“It is unprecedented to have such a [high] proportion of affected children,” Mr. Pfaffmann continued, adding that both provinces were also facing a measles outbreak.

So far, UNICEF has vaccinated more than 40,000 children against measles, but a massive scale-up was needed to protect them from various health risks.

With all this in mind, UNICEF planned to carry out a new strategic response plan to address acute humanitarian and social needs.

“UNICEF will need to triple its budget to respond to this crisis,” said Mr. Pfaffmann, stressing that “we need desperately the international community to back us up.” 

This budget would include about $70 million for epidemic control activities, $30 million to build community capacities in at-risk areas, and another $70 million to deliver essential services.

Meanwhile, the UN agency was continuing operations with “colleagues and communities on the ground who are fighting the outbreak tirelessly.” 

Just two days away from the one-year milestone of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the DRC, the UNICEF expert said it was critical to make the investment to keep the epidemic under control.

“This is a wake-up call. There must not be a second-year milestone,” Mr. Pfaffmann declared, stressing that community mobilization was critical to curbing the spread of the disease because “they are capable of best doing the things that matter.” 

RDC: Ville de Kinshasa – Communique Officiel (26.07.2019)

Joint press release between Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization on the situation of Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic Of Congo (19.07.2019)

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