WHO Committee Again Declines To Declare International Public Health Emergency After Ebola Jumps Border From DRC To Uganda; Agency Calls For More Robust Funding From Global Community

CIDRAP News: WHO experts again say Ebola not global health emergency
“A World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee convened in the wake of imported Ebola cases in Uganda said [Friday] that the situation still doesn’t warrant a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), but they did express serious worries about the threat to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighbors and over a lack of funds…” (Schnirring, 6/14).

Devex: Merck to make more Ebola vaccine, WHO declines to declare global emergency
“Merck announced it would produce an estimated 450,000 additional doses of experimental Ebola vaccine, just after the first cross-border case was confirmed to have spread to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo. But the World Health Organization declined on Friday to declare the outbreak a global emergency…” (Ravelo, 6/14).

The Guardian: WHO calls for more funds to fight DRC Ebola outbreak
“…Dr. Preben Aavitsland, the acting chair of the emergency committee, said they were extremely worried about the ongoing outbreak and its spread and especially concerned that the world had not yet come up with the money needed to fight it. ‘The committee is deeply disappointed that WHO and the affected countries have not received the funding and resources needed for this outbreak,’ he said. ‘The international community must step up funding and support for the strengthening of preparedness and response in the DRC and the neighboring countries’…” (Boseley, 6/14).

Science: WHO unexpectedly declines, again, to call Ebola outbreak a global emergency
“…Many infectious disease experts and public officials had expected, and called for, WHO to declare a PHEIC when Ebola broke out of the DRC. ‘I’m baffled and deeply troubled by this decision,’ Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., tells ScienceInsider. ‘The status quo is no longer tenable. It is time to sound a global alert’…” (Kupferschmidt, 6/14).

STAT: After Ebola spills into Uganda, WHO decides against emergency declaration
“…The WHO said the response has been hampered by a lack of funding; the agency currently has a $54 million funding gap for this work. Efforts to prepare neighboring countries for cross-border spread, for instance, has not proceeded at the pace it ought to because funding for the work isn’t there, said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, which is leading the response in conjunction with the DRC ministry of health…” (Branswell, 6/14).

Wall Street Journal: WHO Declines to Declare Ebola a Global Emergency in Congo
“…Speaking by phone in a press conference from Congo, where he is viewing and holding discussions about Ebola response efforts, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he accepted the committee’s decision, while noting that the outbreak is an emergency for those affected by it. He urged international funders to help WHO fill an immediate gap of $54 million needed to fund response efforts through July. WHO also said it would need more funding for the months to come. ‘We need the international community to step up its financial commitment to end the outbreak,’ he said…” (McKay/Bariyo, 6/14).

Additional coverage of the WHO emergency committee’s decision, the Ebola outbreak in DRC and Uganda, and related news is available from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera (2), Associated Press (2) (3), BBC News, Becker’s Hospital Review, CNN, Deutsche Welle, Forbes, The Hill, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, New York Times, NPR, Reuters (2), Science Speaks, The Telegraph, VOA News, Vox, Washington Post, and Xinhua News.

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