The outbreak that was centered in the Western part of the DRC is estimated to have infected 119 people and claimed the lives of 55 people.
The Ebola outbreak that claimed the lives of 55
people in the Western part of the Democratic Republic of Congo this year has
been declared over by the World Health Organization.
The outbreak reported in June 2020, amidst the ongoing
COVID-19 global pandemic mainly infected people in the Equateur
Province. It was the 11th Ebola outbreak that the country has suffered.
The Ebola hemorrhagic fever is transmitted to people
from wild animals and spreads through human to human contact. The outbreak in western DRC, came as another Ebola
outbreak in the Eastern part of the country was winding down. Genetic
sequencing analysis carried out on the two outbreaks found that they were
In a statement released today by the health agency,
the WHO Africa regional director Dr Matshidiso Moeti says that news is evidence
of what can happen when Science and unity mix.
“Overcoming one of the world’s most dangerous
pathogens in remote and hard to access communities demonstrates what is
possible when science and solidarity come together,"said Dr Moeti. "Tackling Ebola in parallel
with COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, but much of the expertise we’ve built in one
disease is transferrable to another and underlines the importance of investing
in emergency preparedness and building local capacity.”
Dr Moeti says the technology and support used to defeat the eleventh
Ebola outbreak will play an instrumental role in the COVID-19 fight in the
“The technology used to keep the Ebola vaccine at
super-cold temperatures will be helpful when bringing a COVID-19 vaccine to
Africa," explained Dr Moeti. "Vaccinators
used an innovative cold chain storage to keep the Ebola vaccine at temperatures
as low as -80 degrees Celsius. The ARKTEK freezers can keep vaccines at very
low temperatures in the field for up to a week and enabled responders to
vaccinate people in communities without electricity."
As of today, three vaccines have been reported to
have an effect on the COVID-19 virus. Two of the vaccines- one from Pfizer and
the other from Moderna all need to be kept at temperatures below zero degrees.
Dr Allan Muruta, the commissioner in charge of
health emergencies at the ministry of health says that the news is welcome but
Uganda will continue its ongoing surveillance.
“As a neighbor to Uganda, this is welcome news but
we shall continue monitoring the situation along all border districts,” he
A total of 119 confirmed cases and 75 recoveries
were reported in the DRC during the outbreak. Over 40,000 people were
vaccinated in the outbreak.