EYEAFRICA TV: Geneva, SWITZERLAND: A top World Health Organization (WHO) official has told reporters that there is “positive sign and development” in fighting the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), saying so far there has not been an explosive increase in cases in the country.
Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Switzerland, Peter Salama said they cannot conclude that they have safeguarded the city of Mbandaka, but they can confirm that there has not been “an explosive increase in cases so far.”
Mr. Salama said they have reason to be cautiously optimistic but said that does not mean there will not be more cases. He said the fact is they started vaccination on May 21 and haven’t seen an explosive increase in cases.
According to WHO, the vaccine is proving to be very acceptable to the community in Mbandaka, where over 90 per cent of the contacts that WHO listed were vaccinated.
The global health organisation’s Michael J Ryan said, “For the first time in my experience where we walk into villages with the vaccination teams, you see hope and not terror. We are seeing that in the demand for vaccination in the communities.”
He said over 90 per cent of eligible people are getting vaccinated which is pretty good for a vaccine anywhere in the world, saying logistics and demands on the field and the teams in the field are pretty extreme and the demands of communication, establishing satellite communications, email links and all of that for data transfer have been challenging.
International Federation of Red Cross Secretary General Elhadj As Sy said, “none of us alone can face the multi-dimensions of an outbreak like this one and that calls for partnership and we work in partnership. So in that partnership we believe that the community dimension is very important. Outbreaks start in communities and it will be contained in the communities.”
According to WHO, as of 25 May 2018, a total of 54 cases and 25 deaths have been reported since the official notification of the outbreak by the Ministry of Health in accordance with the International Health Regulations.