U.S. Should Play Leadership Role To Help Control Ebola Outbreak In DRC

The Hill: Ebola transmission rate triples in DRC as U.S. expertise is sidelined
K. Riva Levinson, president and CEO of KRL International LLC

“…Three years [after the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak,] in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it feels like many of the lessons learned were learned in vain — and with the White House decision to bar U.S. officials, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), from entering the worst-affected zones as well as a strict interpretation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act resulting in the withholding of non-humanitarian assistance, we have an unprecedented sidelining of U.S. expertise that — until now — has been on the frontlines for every Ebola outbreak. … This is no longer just a health emergency, it is a political, security, and diplomatic crisis … To stabilize the Ebola outbreak, the international community needs to heed the advice of its first responders, the global charities, including MSF, Oxfam, Mercy Corps, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). … Ebola was defeated in West Africa when a global declaration of emergency created the conditions for charities and frontline health care workers to get ahead of the Ebola transmission curve. The disease was brought under control only after it was acknowledged that you don’t isolate the communities, you work with them, to isolate the virus. And it was defeated with U.S. leadership” (6/8).

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