3 August 2018: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced its emergency response to a fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu region, bordering Uganda and Rwanda. The outbreak occurs just one week after WHO declared the outbreak in the country’s western Equateur region over.
WHO is distributing a vaccine that has recently been shown to be effective in limiting the spread of the disease, while the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is communicating information about Ebola among the local communities, providing clean water supply and giving psychosocial support to children and families affected by the disease.
WHO confirmed that up to 20 people have died from Ebola in the recent outbreak. The UN agency explained that undertaking an emergency response in North Kivu is difficult because of the ongoing conflict in the region, with more than 100 armed groups being active, and more than one million people displaced from their homes.
SDG target 3.3 calls for ending epidemics of communicable diseases by 2030. Ebola is spread through human contact with blood and other bodily fluids of infected people, and health workers now observe strict protocols to avoid transmission. [WHO Press Release] [UN Press Release on New Cluster of Ebola Cases in DRC] [UN Press Release on Conflict in New Ebola Zone Complicating Emergency Response] [UNICEF Press Release] [WHO Fact Sheet on Ebola]