DRC efforts to fight Ebola pay off

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A continental forum to assist the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s efforts against Ebola has attracted pledges worth $55 million, above its target.

The “Africa Against Ebola” Forum held at the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, has been attended by private sector and International partners.

Its aim was to help the DRC which has battled an Ebola outbreak since August 2018- secure resources to prevent the further spread of the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says as of November 29, about 3309 Ebola cases had been registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 2200 people had died.

The African Union says the country needs support to strengthen its health systems.

At the event in Addis Ababa, the African Union was hoping to receive $50 million from private sector donors and international partners, but it’s beaten that target.

The DRC itself is pledging $1million.

Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil says:” The financial pledges which the total number is $55 million plus, this is the financial pledged with largest contributors. We also have the “in kind support”, we have the human resource support pledges by some members states from Africa.”

The DRC is suffering from its 10th Ebola Outbreak since 1976.

The current attack was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation on August 12019.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat says:”In addition to its negative consequences on economic and social activities, Ebola compounds the destruction caused by armed groups and unpredictable conditions in the affected part forth DRC. Despite the complexity of the response we all have the common goal to ensure the success of efforts to give the DRC the necessary means to face these multifaceted challenges.”

Professor Jean Jacques Muyembe , a Congolese scientist , recognized globally for contributing to the discovery of  Ebola and its treatment says consistency in preventing new cases is vital.

“From 19 cases per week and 15 cases per day in July, we have now reached the stages of 10 cases per week and zero to three cases per day.”

The DRC says the outbreak has now been contained in most of the affected areas.

But getting on top of it in the country’s north east has been challenging because of insecurity.

Non-financial pledges have also been made here, such as promise of medical supplies and the training of health practitioners in DRC.

The AU hopes those along with the financial commitments made will be delivered as soon as possible.

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