"DRC Ebola News (7/25/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 25, 2019. Accessed August 23, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-7-25-19/
There were 8 new cases as of July 25th.
World Bank announced its mobilization of up to US$300 million to scale up support for the global response to the DRC Ebola epidemic.
USAID is providing more than $38 million in additional assistance to help end the ongoing Ebola outbreak.
MONUSCO chief briefs UN Security Council about the “One UN approach” being adopted by the mission, which combines different tools to defuse social and political tensions in DRC.
Peter Piot comments on the change of strategy by President Félix Tshisekedi to oversee the country’s Ebola response.
Total cases in DRC: 2,620
- Confirmed cases: 2,526
- Probable cases: 94
- Suspected cases: 394
Deaths in DRC: 1,746
World Bank Mobilizes US$300 Million to Finance the Ebola Response in Democratic Republic of Congo
The US$300 million in grants and credits will be largely financed through the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and its Crisis Response Window. The money will cover the Ebola-affected health zones in DRC and enable the government, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, World Food Programme, International Organization for Migration, and other responders to step up the frontline health response. This comes in addition to the US$100 million disbursed by the World Bank ($80 million) and the PEF ($20 million) in response to the current Ebola Outbreak in DRC since August 2018. The World Bank has been supporting programs to combat DRC’s ongoing battle with Ebola since May 2018, with resources going to the frontline response, health system strengthening, and preparedness to reduce the risk of spread.
The United States Announces More Than $38 Million in Additional Assistance to Contain the Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo
This amount includes $15 million in new funding to WHO, bringing the total USAID funding for the response to Ebola to more than $136 million since the beginning of the outbreak in August 2018. This funding will provide lifesaving assistance through on-the-ground partners, and critical preparedness efforts in DRC’s neighboring countries of Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda. The funding announced is in addition to contributions from other U.S. Departments and Agencies and the U.S. private sector.
‘Deadly environment’ plus ‘political and social’ obstacles hinder Ebola fight in DR Congo, Security Council hears
Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative and head of the UN’s Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO), said that militants have caused “a deadly environment” for the people working to counter the virus, “to the point of being specifically threatened and killed by armed groups”. On the security situation, she pointed out that over the past weeks, violence has risen in several areas in the eastern part of the country. Violence continues to be the main driver of humanitarian need in the DRC, spelled out Ms. Zerrougui. “As a result, the country is currently facing simultaneous emergency situations, including mass displacement and protection threats”. Following renewed violence, more than 350,000 people have been displaced in Ituri and 733,000 people need assistance. MONUSCO supports both Congolese security forces and is responding itself to armed groups, she said, as well as helping strengthen the Congolese justice system to fight impunity. On the humanitarian front, she said MONUSCO is also providing support to the newly appointed UN Ebola Emergency Response Coordinator.
Ebola outbreak in DRC - comment from Peter Piot
“Nearly one year into the world’s second largest-ever Ebola outbreak, there is no sign of this epidemic slowing down. We therefore welcome the DRC President’s bold decision to change strategy and bring the Ebola response under his direct supervision” said Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He mentioned that for months LSHTM, along with partners, have been working with local and national authorities in DRC, including with the Ministry of Health, to support the deployment of a second investigational vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) under study conditions. “J&J investigational Ebola vaccine regimen has been tested in more than 6000 persons and is safe. Although it has not been used in previous outbreaks, and thus demonstration of efficacy in humans is lacking, it has shown outstanding safety and immunogenicity in humans and is highly protective against Ebola challenge in non-human primates” Piot said. “Both vaccines should work hand in hand, the J&J vaccine as primary prevention and the Merck vaccine continuing as a ring vaccination approach.”
Tweet by Helen Branswell– 7/24/19
3. Views on how/where to use the J&J #Ebola vaccine are really split. The group planning the trial wants to use it close to the transmission zone, to create a firewall. Some NGOs worry about the potential for a communications nightmare.
Tweet by Laurie Garrett– 7/24/19
Key point here: “The US$300 million in grants and credits will be largely financed through the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and its Crisis Response Window,” so the Pandemic Emergency Fund (PEF) remains untouched. Release the PEF: this is what it’s for.