DRC Ebola Outbreak Shows No Signs Of Slowing As Violence Continues; WHO Not Equipped To Fight Disease In Conflict Zone, Ron Klain Says

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola total climbs by 15 cases; vandals hit Katwa hospital
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) saw no let-up on new Ebola cases and attacks on the response [Tuesday], with 15 more illnesses reported along with a report of vandalism at a hospital in Katwa. In other developments, South Korea [on Tuesday] announced a plan to provide $500,000 in humanitarian aid for the Ebola response, and a group that analyzes humanitarian events warned that increasing attacks near the Ebola-hit DRC areas could displace more people and ease the spread of the disease…” (Schnirring, 5/14).

Devex: WHO not equipped for conflict response, says former Ebola czar
“The World Health Organization’s response to the current Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo shows how much the institution has improved in the last five years — as well as the limits of what it can reasonably be expected to do, according to the former U.S. government ‘Ebola czar.’ ‘They have been everything that they were not in 2014. They have been fast. They have been transparent. They have been candid, and they have been quite responsive. And their leadership is exceptional,’ said Ron Klain, who served as the U.S. Ebola response coordinator in 2014 and 2015. … This time, WHO’s inability to stop the spread of the deadly virus is not a result of poor leadership, but due to the fact the organization was not created or equipped to mount a response effort in an active conflict zone, Klain said…” (Igoe, 5/15).

The Guardian: ‘Terrifying’ Ebola epidemic out of control in DRC, say experts
“An Ebola epidemic in a conflict-riven region of Democratic Republic of Congo is out of control and could become as serious as the outbreak that devastated three countries in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, experts and aid chiefs have warned. … Those on the frontline in North Kivu fear no end is in sight. Whitney Elmer, a country director for Mercy Corps, one of the humanitarian NGOs working on preventing the spread, said there had been ‘a drastic change in the security situation,’ which was causing a big rise in the number of cases…” (Boseley, 5/15).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from The Guardian (2) and Xinhua News.

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