Almost a year after the outbreak of Ebola was declared in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and with the number of new cases at worrying levels, the United Nations hosted a high-level meeting today in Geneva to take stock of the coordinated response and galvanize further support for the government-led effort to defeat the deadly disease.
Yesterday, 14 July, the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, a city of about 1 million people south of the outbreak’s epicenter. Almost 3,000 health workers have so far been vaccinated against the disease in Goma. More than 1,650 people have died in the current outbreak, while about 12 new cases are reported every day.
With the outbreak still confined to the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, the response is at a critical juncture. WHO assesses the risk of spread to neighbouring provinces and countries as very high.
Chaired by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock, today’s event included the DRC Minister of Health, Dr. Oly Ilunga, the Minister for Solidarity and Humanitarian Action, Mr. Bernard Biando Sango, and the Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, the Rt. Hon. Rory Stewart, as keynote speakers.