U.N., W.H.O. welcome end of DR Congo’s 11th Ebola outbreak

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BUTEMBO, CONGO - JULY 27: A healthcare member inoculates a man for Ebola suspicion to take precautions against the disease in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo on July 27, 2019. (Photo by JC Wenga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare member inoculates a man for Ebola suspicion to take precautions against the disease in Butembo, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Photo by JC Wenga/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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.

W.H.O. Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti described the news of the end of the outbreak as a “big achievement”.

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.

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