The Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has underlined efforts to mitigate the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The DRC government early last week declared a new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Bikoro, Equateur Province.
In response to the new outbreak of Ebola, the Africa CDC has activated its emergency operation center (EOC) to support the DRC national outbreak response efforts, and the Center has also mobilized its epidemic response team (ERT) for imminent deployment.
The Africa CDC will dispatch a team on Wednesday to the DRC to assess the situation and the level of support required to ongoing efforts by DRC and other partners to contain the outbreak, said John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC, during a press briefing on Tuesday at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
Of the 20 people who died in the DRC, three are health workers, said the director, adding that the outbreak has also occurred in a remote part of the country, challenging deployment of health workers and the necessary supplies, which has made the situation a big concern.
The outbreak has occurred in an area with a traffic about 7,000 people a week by different means, posing significant risk of spreading the epidemic, noted the director.
This is the 9th Ebola outbreak that the DRC is witnessing in four decades, after the first outbreak in 1976.
A total of 250,000 U.S. dollars has been set aside for outbreak response activities by the Africa CDC, and member countries have been pledging support by contributing health workers.