citation

"DRC Ebola News (7/8/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, July 08, 2019. Accessed November 18, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-7-8-19/

Daily update for July 8th, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 10 new cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as of July 7th, 2019.

The almost year-long Ebola outbreak is on the edge of spiraling out of control, and UK’s Rory Stewart calls on WHO to declare it an international emergency.

In response to Lancet Editors, members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) clarified the role of the International Health Regulations (IHR) and the designation of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Canadian scientists who helped design the Merck Ebola vaccine says there isn’t enough of them.

Ebola responders call for a ‘reset’ in the response. What does that mean?

WHO AFRO Dashboard/DRC MoH Stats

DRC MoH Statistics

Total cases in DRC: 2,408

  • Confirmed cases: 2,314
  • Probable cases: 94
  • Suspected cases: 323

Deaths in DRC: 1,625

Vaccinated in DRC: 154,037

Declare Ebola outbreak in DRC an emergency, says UK’s Rory Stewart

Guardian

By Patrick Wintour, 7/7/19

I would politely, bearing in mind I have no formal locus in this, encourage them to declare this is a global health emergency, and partly because it will make it easier to raise the extra cash.” Rory Stewart, UK’s international development secretary said. He singled out some other European countries with links to the DRC for giving “strikingly little”, suggesting France, for example, may have provided as little as $1m (£800,000). The UK and US have provided more than half of the funding for the emergency. “We are critically short of money,” Stewart said. “There is going to be a funding gap of $100m, and probably of $300m through to December because we have to stay on top of this. It is a very expensive response because the local systems are simply not there. We cannot move from one area to another and say it is solved. It keeps coming out of the periphery again and jumping 300km north. The money is central.” During his current visit to DRC, Stewart noted some of his observations to Guardian, saying “We were in a healthcare clinic this morning where they have to build an entire sandbag area so when the armed groups come in and start shooting, the healthcare workers can hide.” He also noted the violence and community trust issues, and health system problems that make this outbreak complex.

The truth about PHEICs

Lancet

By Johan Giesecke, on behalf of STAG-IH, 7/5/19

The decision to declare a PHEIC lies with the WHO Director-General and requires the input of a committee of experts—the IHR emergency committee. By declaring a PHEIC, the Director-General requires state parties to share critical information for risk assessment, adjust response plans if deemed necessary, and implement temporary recommendations formulated by the emergency committee. The Acting Chair of the emergency committee for Ebola stated on June 14, 2019 that the declaration of a PHEIC for the current Ebola outbreak would add no clear benefit in any of these three areas. Members of the emergency committee cited potential disadvantages of a PHEIC declaration (effects on travel and trade that could impede support to affected regions and hinder outbreak control) and provided technical advice that the STAG-IH supports fully. WHA has called for two reviews of IHR (2005): one in 2010, after the H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, and a second in 2015, to examine the response to the west Africa Ebola virus outbreak. Citing the difficulties and potential risks in opening an accepted international agreement to revision, Member States requested a mechanism to independently monitor WHO’s ongoing risk assessment. STAG-IH has its origin in this request and has reviewed WHO’s risk assessments and responses before and between the emergency committee’s three meetings about the current Ebola virus outbreak. STAG-IH urges the public health community to recognise the close link between disease and trade inherent in IHR (2005) and the risks and benefits of using this strong instrument of international law to raise awareness and resources.

Canadian who helped design Ebola vaccine says there isn’t enough to stop current outbreak in Congo

CBC

By Katie Nicholson, 7/6/19

Merck entered into an agreement with the Vaccine Alliance in Geneva to maintain a stockpile of 300,000 doses in case of an outbreak. But “300,000 doses is not enough anymore,” said microbiologist and researcher Gary Kobinger, who has been tracking the outbreak from the Centre for Research in Infectious Diseases at Laval University in Quebec City. “You would need to reach a million, if not two million [people].” Merck confirmed Friday that it met with the WHO and the Vaccine Alliance in June to discuss supply concerns, and spokesperson Skip Irvine said the company decided to nearly triple the stockpile within the next 18 months. Irvine said Merck has another 250,000 doses ready to ship. The good news, Kobinger said, is that the vaccine has proven to be 97.5 percent effective during this outbreak. He said about 72 percent of the population needs to be immunized to block the spread of the infectious disease. “You can have a vaccine that is 100 per cent effective, but if you only vaccinate 10 per cent of the population that is susceptible to get the disease … you cannot expect the vaccine to have a strong impact.

Twitter

Tweet by WFP_Africa– 7/8/19

@WFP_Africa

As @MinofHealthUG & @WHOUganda announce no new #Ebola cases in Uganda, we want to thank @DFID_UK for all their support to emergency preparedness. UK knows that preparedness saves lives! @UKinUganda

Tweet by L’OMS en RDC– 7/8/19

@OMSRDCONGO

Allowing family members to have update news of their relatives infected by #Ebola virus disease is vital to create more trust that people can survive infection. In Butembo ETC, presence of families reinforces dignity, respect & compassion as key components to #StoppEbola in #DRC

Tweet by Helen Branswell– 7/7/19

@HelenBranswell

For the 6th day in a row, >1000 people were vaccinated against #Ebola on Saturday. This is an unprecedented vaccination pace for this outbreak. From July 1-6, nearly 7000 people were vaccinated.

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