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Declaration of Ebola outbreak in DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

Entered on 25-07-2019



PREPARE acknowledges the decision made by the WHO Director-General to declare the current Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). It has been almost a year since the outbreak was first declared on 1 August 2018, and to date, over 2500 cases have been reported and over 1600 people have died. The impact of this outbreak on the lives of individuals, families and communities is devastating. The declaration of a PHEIC is a call for international action and it is right to call for urgent attention for further international support to bring this disease to a halt.
We commend the substantive and sustained efforts of local, national and international responders, under leadership of the Ministry of Health in DRC, in their efforts to reduce and stop transmission, treat and care for patients, ensure safe and dignified burials and build trust with local communities. We acknowledge how challenging it is to conduct clinical and social science research to build an evidence base from which to make clinical and public health decisions, and commend the efforts to do so.
Dr Tedros Ahhanom Ghebreyesus, (WHO Director -General) has emphasised that while the risk of transmission of Ebola within the affected region is high, the risk of spread outside the region is low. WHO advises against trade and travel restrictions to or from the affected areas. PREPARE has a remit regarding clinical research preparedness within Europe and any preparedness activities are proportionate to risk. PREPARE can be triggered to review the need for a response by our network and, following assessment, we escalate to one of three outbreak modes. Given the low risk of transmission to Europe, PREPARE has not activated this system.  We will continue to actively monitor the situation in DRC and assess the need for readiness action within our networks. We stand ready to offer support and technical assistance to European and/ or international partners.
Prof. Herman Goossens, PREPARE Co-ordinator
Prof. Menno de Jong, PREPARE Deputy Coordinator
Prof. Peter Horby
Prof. Marion Koopmans

The PREPARE Outbreak Mode Committee

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Herman Goossens

Deputy Coordinator:

Menno de Jong


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