On July 17, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a public health emergency of international concern.
The WHO declaration is a serious matter, and one that VillageReach does not take lightly. We support WHO’s decision to raise the global profile of this outbreak, as many lives have been lost and new resources and solutions are needed. WHO reported on July 18th that there have been 2522 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in this region and 1698 deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. 135 of the infections have been in health workers. Since the Ebola outbreak is taking place in a conflict zone, containment and response has been difficult.
Although the area of outbreak is far away from VillageReach’s direct work with government partners in Kinshasa as well as the provinces of Equateur, Haut-Lomami, Tanganyika and Kwilu, we know that travel and commerce can easily change the trajectory of the outbreak. We will look to provide support to those who are actively engaged in outbreak response and continue to monitor the health of our employees and their families.
Resources are needed to curb this outbreak. Outside of DRC, one effective way to help is through a donation to The Ebola Fund. The Ebola Fund was initially created by Panorama Global in 2014 in response to the West Africa Ebola Outbreak, and is now being deployed to provide flexible resources to the current outbreak in DRC. The Ebola Fund also aligns with advocacy efforts that encourage donor countries to do more to support the Ebola response. The fund will consult with the WHO to determine the highest priority and best use of resources.
We stand ready to support the Ministry of Health, Gavi and our other partners in DRC.