Ebola Epidemic Hampers Global Health due to Lack of Funds

Ebola Epidemic Hampers Global Health due to Lack of Funds

An emergency meeting convened by the World Health Organization has decided the Ebola epidemic in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo does not constitute a public health emergency of international concern. However, the expert committee warns lack of funding threatens to hamper the ability to contain the deadly virus.

More than 1,400 people have died from Ebola in eastern DR Congo and more than 2,100 are infected with this fatal disease. This makes the epidemic in conflict-ridden North Kivu province the second largest after the West African outbreak in 2014, which killed some 11,300 people.

The recent spread of the Ebola virus into neighboring Uganda and deaths of two people prompted the World Health Organization to gather a group of experts to reassess the current situation and challenges ahead.

People coming from Congo have their temperature measured to screen for symptoms of Ebola, at the Mpondwe border crossing with Congo, in western Uganda, June 14, 2019. VOA

FILE- An Ebola health worker is seen at a treatment center in Beni, Eastern Congo, April 16, 2019. VOA

He says the most serious issue facing the Ebola operation is lack of international support. He says WHO and the affected countries have not received the funding and resources needed to bring the epidemic to an end.

ALSO READ: WHO Says Ebola Outbreak Not a Public Health Emergency Despite its Spread from Congo to Uganda

He warns lack of funding is hampering preparedness efforts in Uganda and other countries neighboring the DRC. And, this, he warns increases their vulnerability to the potential spread of the virus.

WHO reports it needs $98 million through July, but is running a shortfall of $54 million. It is calling on the international community to step up and fill this gap as soon as possible. (VOA)

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