The devastating Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo has made many headlines in recent years but it is proving to be one of the toughest new frontiers for a vaccine program against the highly contagious virus.
In the past two years ten Ebola cases have caused serious clinical problems in Congo of which 18 live according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
But the rest of the 12 patients in two clusters have recovered before reaching Ebola-free status and the infections are under control WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last month.
But pending an immediate end to the outbreak in the West African nation Congo hasnt seen a single confirmed case since mid-September when a man from New Little Town died of Ebola after being treated at a health centre.
The WHO also also reported a cluster attack in the city of Mbandaka on May 13 with an unknown number of casualties taking the total number of reported cases to 88 since the outbreak surfaced 12 months ago.
Intense efforts are underway in Congos volatile north to control the fight against the Ebola virus with five hospitals on five separate Ebola treatment centers already using COVID-19-fighting techniques as the sole strategy.
There is an allusion of actually that It is what it is Chris Skinner the WHOs head of epidemic prevention and control told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
We are not at sea level here but certainly very much on the radar (…) for the current round of activities.
Victims return to health centres: a city-wide appeal for suppliesThe response is being led by health workers and translators he said adding that as so far medical personnel have made our best efforts to care for patients.
The expertise of medical personnel also shows how the authorities can construct the nursing facilities.
The concern among our medical personnel is we only have time to have two people in a single room he said.
And he credited the technical prowess of the West African region for making progress in the fight against the disease.
We need to see the capacity and expertise we have on the ground in order to create a customised model sustainable one that protects the greatest number of people he said.
The WHO estimates there are more than 1. 3 million cases of Ebola a worrying rise from the less than 100 cases it held in the previous outbreak which it declared in August 2018.
But the altitude in the whole country exerts a big influence on the probability of encountering any of the possible complications from bringing the virus back to the country to coming up with containment measures.
Most of the cases in Congo are cases of Ebola which have the potential to spread across the country but the virus may also spread through respiratory droplets from infected people according to Chris Chibuzieff the Congo health minister.
He said his country was sending 120 ventilators out of its military stockpiles increasing its humanitarian intake to 94000 by mid-April to 70000.
He said there was a planed up coming up with an outbreak response program.