"DRC Ebola News (7/22/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 22, 2019. Accessed August 23, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-7-22-19/
There were 14 new cases as of July 21st.
Since the declaration of the current outbreak as a PHEIC, WHO has published recommendations regarding international traffic.
The African Union (AU) will deploy more members of the African Voluntary Health Corps (AVoHC) to support the outbreak response.
Health experts worry about what would happen if Ebola reaches neighboring South Sudan, a nation currently recovering from a five-year civil war and with a weakened health system.
In response to WHO’s proclamation of the outbreak as high risk for Rwanda, the country is currently embarking on its third preparedness phase.
WHO AFRO Dashboard/DRC MoH Stats
Total cases in DRC: 2,578
- Confirmed cases: 2,484
- Probable cases: 94
- Suspected cases: 361
Deaths in DRC: 1,737
Vaccinated in DRC: 169,976
WHO recommendations for international traffic related to the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The general WHO recommendations include:
1. Strong advice against the closure of borders or implementation of any restrictions on travel and trade.
2. Informing WHO of any additional health measures taken by a country within 48 hours of its implementation.
3. Encouraging communication and collaboration between national authorities and transport service providers.
4. Discouraging any requirements for certificates of Ebola vaccination as basis for restricting movement across borders or the issuance of visas for travelers.
5. Discouraging travel for persons diagnosed with the Ebola virus disease (except for medical evacuation).
6. At least 21 days travel discouragement for anyone with an illness consistent with the Ebola Virus disease (except for medical evacuation).
WHO also recommended cross-border screening at main internal roads and exit screening at international airports of affected countries (currently only the DRC).
African Union to Deploy More Experts in Response to Ebola Crisis in the DRC
Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the African Union’s Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) confirmed that the AU will re-activate the African Voluntary Health Corps and deploy them not just in the DRC but also in other countries within the region, following WHO’s categorization of the outbreak as a PHEIC. AU will also be engaging with the United Nations security system to improve security for deployed experts and facilities so that response efforts can continue without interruptions.
War-weakened South Sudan tries to prepare for Ebola
By Sam Mednick, 7/20/19
Many South Sudan communities lack the basic resources to respond to one of the world’s most notorious diseases. The phone network in Central Equatoria is limited, meaning most people cannot call the emergency help line. Many hospitals don’t have staff trained to deal with the virus or the isolation wards needed to control its spread. The country is about 60% ready to deal with a potential Ebola outbreak, Richard Lako with South Sudan’s national Ebola task force has told The Associated Press. But he expressed concern about the border: “There are forest areas between communities in South Sudan and the Congo and these people can’t be screened from the other side. It’s a big worry if those people sneak in and we have a case. It’ll take us time to get in and control the issue.”
Congo-Rwanda Border: Ebola Scares Rwandans To Stay Home
Rwanda shares a 217km border with DRC. There are two major crossing areas Rubavu/Goma and Rusizi/Bukavu. These four crossing points are said to carry at least 90% of the traffic between the two countries. Between the four official crossing points, more than 90,000 people – mainly informal traders, cross daily. This level of cross-border movement is the biggest in Africa, and only second to the US-Mexico border daily influx globally. WHO’s preparedness expert assessment concluded that Rwanda has increased awareness and community engagement throughout the country using different communication. To supplement the physical efforts, the government of Rwanda set aside Rwf11.5 billion as it steps up efforts to protect the country against Ebola. Rwanda Ministry of Health with support from WHO and other partners launched vaccination of health care and frontline health workers. The health ministry says it has trained over 23,000 medical personnel, police officers and volunteers in preparation to fight outbreak. No Ebola case has ever been recorded in Rwanda, according to official records.
Tweet by WHO African Region– 7/22/19
The current #Ebola outbreak in #DRC highlights that we must invest in our readiness & surveillance mechanisms to get ahead of the virus rather than chasing it. A High-Level delegation visits Yei, #SouthSudan assess the preparedness & response to a potential outbreak.
Tweet by Helen Branswell– 7/21/19
You can see how persistent transmission is at this point in this graph (mine). July is just a solid block of 10, 12, 14 cases daily. There have been more cases in the first 3 weeks of July than in June. So, down from late April-May, but not winding down at all.
Tweet by Amy Maxmen– 7/21/19
Because the #Ebola outbreak is so intense, people aren’t even talking about the tremendous feat of getting a vaccine at -80C into forests without electricity. Here’s my pic of the cold chain! Series of freezers, ending up in a little canister in a thermal box. V cool.