The United Nations and the World Health Organization both welcomed the official announcement by health authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo declaring an end to the 11th Ebola outbreak in the country.
The outbreak in Équateur province in the western DR Congo, also the region in which the 9th outbreak was reported in 2018, was first announced at the beginning of June. Nearly six months later, the outbreak resulted in 119 confirmed cases, 11 probable cases, and 55 deaths.
The declaration on Wednesday meant that this was the first time the DR Congo was Ebola-free in about two-and-a-half years.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the same attitude employed in tackling the outbreak should be applied in the fight to end the coronavirus pandemic.
Today, we celebrate the official end of the most recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) November 18, 2020
W.H.O. Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti described the news of the end of the outbreak as a “big achievement”.
Congratulations to the #DRC for overcoming its 11th #Ebola outbreak & a heartfelt thank you to everyone who tirelessly tracked down cases, provided treatment & vaccinated people in often remote communities tucked away in dense rain forests.
It wasn’t easy, but we’ve done it! https://t.co/DqDS8vay6Z
— Dr Matshidiso Moeti (@MoetiTshidi) November 18, 2020
UNICEF Representative in the DR Congo Edouard Beigbeder said children affected by the Ebola epidemic will still require special attention and care despite the end of the outbreak.
“Throughout the latest epidemic to hit DRC, we have worked with our partners to meet children’s unique physical, psychological and social needs. This includes caring for the wellbeing of surviving parents and family members so that they can better look after their children,” Beigbeder said in a statement.
The DR Congo’s Minister of Health Dr. Eteni Longondo appealed to the population to remain vigilant and continue to observe hygiene measures to avoid the resurgence of Ebola and prevent the spread of coronavirus which is raging in the country.