Editorials Discuss DRC Ebola Outbreak Response

The Guardian: The Guardian view on Ebola in the DRC: help needed — and dialogue too
Editorial Board

“Are we able to learn the right lessons when disaster strikes? … [The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] is not only a public health but a humanitarian crisis, taking place in a conflict zone, with widespread malnutrition, a struggling health system, and deep suspicion hampering efforts to control the disease … The need for community understanding and engagement … is more critical than ever. … But if solutions must be implemented on the ground, they require proper support. … One lesson from the 2014 outbreak was that real international commitment can bring the disease under control. Another was that without such efforts it poses a far broader risk” (7/18).

The Lancet: A wake up call for the Ebola outbreak response
Editorial Board

“…Nearly a year since the Ebola outbreak began, WHO convened a High-Level meeting to review the response and to call for a more system-wide coordinated approach with U.N. partners ahead of publication of the fourth strategic response plan (SRP4) by the government [of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo)]. … [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] affirmed that the long-standing conflict is the principal challenge and that Ebola, measles, and cholera are all symptoms of the underlying cause, which is political insecurity. He reemphasized that ‘[DR Congo’s] government leadership is key to the success of this fight,’ as is community ownership. But some experts argue that conflict, poverty, and issues of governance go beyond the remit of the health sector and should not detract from dealing with the epidemic now. The approach proposed seems to be a scale-up of the existing strategies led by DR Congo, which calls on donors to increase their funding. However, by WHO recognizing the political nature of this crisis it acknowledges that the solution will require much more than technical capacity and financial investment. Will the awaited SRP4 under the leadership of DR Congo’s government be enough? … What is paramount now is for the international community to come together more assertively to rapidly contain the virus” (7/20).

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