REACTION to WHO decision that Ebola in DRC is not yet a global emergency

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Reacting to yesterday’s decision by the World Health Organisation that the Ebola outbreak is not yet a global emergency, Oxfam Programme Manager in the DRC, Tamba Emmanuel Danmbi-saa, said:

“In the last three weeks, 204 new cases of Ebola have been recorded – an alarming increase and the worst period of the outbreak. These worrying figures show that the current response is not working.

“It is critical that we do more to ensure communities are treated as equal partners. The relationship with them is currently broken and needs to be fixed if we are to halt the spread of Ebola. Too often, local health workers and local health clinics have been side-lined and the Ebola response has created a parallel system which has not won local people’s trust.

“We have to use the experience of local communities, involve local leaders and train local people to decontaminate, carry out safe burials and manage effective community-based surveillance to isolate people, and refer them to clinics as early as possible.”

Notes to editors:

  • According to latest figures released by the World Health Organisation, the number of Ebola cases in Eastern DRC has now reached 1206 and 764 people have died:
  • Oxfam’s Ebola response is focussed on public health promotion and supporting community lead solutions to break the chain of transmission. We are also providing safe, clean water in affected communities and improving the infrastructures of health centres. Since the outbreak began, we have reached over 368,616 people in Beni, Butembo, Goma and in the Ituri region.
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