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Ban Ki-moon announces the closure of UN emergency mission for Ebola

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United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the closure of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), a media report said.

Photo Credit: www.themalaysianinsider.com
Photo Credit: www.themalaysianinsider.com

The first-ever UN emergency health mission was established in September 2014 with its headquarters set in Ghana to meet immediate needs related to the fight against the unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

“The mission has achieved its core objective of scaling up the response on the ground and establishing unity of purpose among responders in support of the nationally led efforts,” said Ban in a statement released by his spokesperson on Friday.

“As we continue to actively strive to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, we have reached an important milestone in the global Ebola response,” Xinhua news agency reported quoting the statement.

As of August 1, oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response will fully be led by the World Health Organization (WHO), under the direct authority of the WHO director-general, according to the statement.

In addition, Ban has maintained the high-level Ebola crisis managers in the hardest-hit countries under the oversight of WHO and with the support of the UN resident coordinators and UN country teams to get to zero cases, according to the statement.

The Ebola outbreak swept through the West Africa last year. Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are the three hardest-hit countries in the region.

(IANS)

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Number of Ebola Cases Spike Again in DRC, Uganda Approves 3 Experimental Treatment

Health workers have got the all-clear to use three experimental Ebola treatments in Uganda

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Ebola, DRC, Uganda
Ugandan civilians queue to be vaccinated against the Ebola virus in Kirembo village, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kasese district, Uganda, June 16, 2019. VOA

Health workers have got the all-clear to use three experimental Ebola treatments in Uganda, a week after the deadly disease spread over the border from Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities said Tuesday.

Two people who had traveled from Congo died in Uganda last week, the World Health Organization said. A three-year-old boy who was sent back to Congo after testing positive for the disease died at the weekend, Congo’s health ministry said.

At least another 1,411 people have died in Congo since August in the second worst outbreak of the disease on record.

“Happy to inform you all that we got clearance from both Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and National Drug Authority to bring in the Therapeutic treatment for #Ebola patients in the country,” Uganda’s Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, said on Twitter.

Ebola, DRC, Uganda
A woman and her child arrive for an Ebola-related investigation at the health facility at the Bwera hospital near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Bwera, Uganda, June 14, 2019. Pixabay

The treatments approved for shipment to Uganda were Mapp Biopharmaceutical’s ZMapp, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s REGN-EB3 and Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, said WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic.

“The protocols for the fourth being submitted. Logistics underway with MSF support for importation of a few courses about 10 each,” he added in an email. The U.N. health agency has said there have been no known cases of Ebola spreading between people in Uganda — all recorded patients had traveled in from Congo.

Four experimental therapeutic treatments are already being used in Congo, it added.

No emergency declaration

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On Friday, a WHO panel decided not to declare an international emergency over Congo’s Ebola outbreak despite its spread to Uganda, saying such a declaration could cause too much economic harm.

“Obviously, the crisis is far from over,” Mark Green, the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told a news conference in Nairobi.

Health workers and people who came in contact with infected people began receiving a Merck experimental vaccine in Uganda on Saturday. (VOA)