U.K. International Development Secretary Encourages WHO To Declare DRC Ebola Outbreak As Public Health Emergency; Some Aid Groups Call For ‘Reset’ In Response

Devex: Ebola responders call for a ‘reset’ in the response. What does that mean?
“Nearly one year after an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo, more than 1,600 people have died and the disease has spread to a case across the border in Uganda. Aid agencies are increasingly calling for a ‘reset’ in the response. … What exactly needs to change? Different organizations involved in the response point to some common issues that need to be resolved: better coordination, clarification of roles, and concretization of community engagement. Some also called for more dialogue, among responders…” (Ravelo, 7/8).

The Guardian: Declare Ebola outbreak in DRC an emergency, says U.K.’s Rory Stewart
“The year-long Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is on the edge of spiraling out of control and the World Health Organization should declare it an international emergency, Rory Stewart, the U.K.’s international development secretary, has said. Stewart is on a two-day visit to the DRC visiting emergency health centers and victims of the disease to assess the issues hampering efforts to bring the epidemic under permanent control. … The WHO has refused three times to declare the outbreak a global health emergency, largely for technical reasons. Stewart said: ‘I would politely, bearing in mind I have no formal locus in this, encourage them to declare this is a global health emergency, and partly because it will make it easier to raise the extra cash’…” (Wintour, 7/7).

New Humanitarian: Hunger, measles, cholera, and conflict: Ebola not the only killer ravaging Congo
“As the Democratic Republic of Congo grapples with the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, aid groups say a host of other emergencies — from renewed conflict and mass displacement to health epidemics like measles and cholera — are being neglected despite mounting humanitarian needs. On 19 June, the World Health Organization issued an appeal to international donors to assist with a $54 million funding shortfall in the Ebola response, but aid workers have told the New Humanitarian that the funding picture for the other emergencies is just as — if not more — bleak…” (Acland, 7/3).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak and response in DRC, as well as preventive measures being taken in neighboring countries, is available from CBC News, CBS News, CIDRAP News, The Lancet, PRI, Reuters, VOA News (2), and Xinhua News (2).