Global health teams battling the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo fear an election dispute may deepen public mistrust and allow the epidemic to run out of control.
The United Nations AIDS agency UNAIDS warned in July that complacency was starting to stall the fight against the global epidemic, with the pace of progress not matching what is needed. Some 37 million people worldwide are infected with HIV.
Treatment, vaccination programmes and safe burials of victims have been disrupted by a surge in violence and abiding local mistrust of health directives.
After several years of steady declines, annual cases of the mosquito-borne disease are levelling off, the UN health agency’s 2018 malaria report showed.
The Ebola outbreak in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, which has already killed more than 200 people, is expected to last until mid-2019, a senior World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.