WHO / EBOLA EMERGENCY COMMITTEE

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12-Apr-2019 00:02:38
The ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), according to the WHO’s Emergency Committee. WHO

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STORY: WHO / EBOLA EMERGENCY COMMITTEE
TRT: 2:38
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 12 APRIL 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Tilt down, meeting room
2. Wide shot, panel
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Prof Robert Steffen, Chair, Emergency Committee:
“The emergency committee almost unanimously decided against recommending to the Director-General of WHO to declare a public health emergency of international concern.”
4. Tilt up, meeting room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Prof Robert Steffen, Chair, Emergency Committee:
“The committee advises WHO and all partners to identify targets and scale-up community dialogue and participation engagement of traditional healers and other community engagement tactics to strengthen and broaden community acceptance in this region troubled by unrest.”
6. Tilt up, Tedros writing
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“Everyone here agrees that we must do everything possible to end this outbreak as soon as possible. The fact that a PHEIC has not been declared, makes no difference to our commitment or our ability to fight this outbreak.”
8. Med shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“This outbreak is occurring in an area that has suffered from decades of conflict. We're working hard to strike a balance between protecting health workers and patients and securing the trust of communities.”
10. Wide shot, meeting room from above
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO:
“We're calling on the international community to step up its financial commitment to ending the outbreak. We cannot intensify our efforts if we don't have enough funds.”
12. Wide shot, meeting room from above
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“What I can say at this point is that the vaccine is demonstrating remarkable efficacy against infection. And therefore, we have to get the message to communities that this vaccine is highly effective.”
14. Pan right, from WHO logo to meeting room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“We are learning every day how to do this better. We are learning how to respond to the demands of the community and we evolve the response. We don't change it. We evolve our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground while trying to still implement this strategy.”
16. Pan right, meeting room

STORYLINE:

The meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General regarding Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo took place on Friday (12 Apr) at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

The Committee decided that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

In light of the advice of the Emergency Committee, WHO advised against any travel or trade restrictions.

The Committee however said they are concerned about the recent increase in transmission in specific areas, and therefore the potential risk of spread to neighboring countries.

The Chair of Emergency Committee, professor Robert Steffen said “the committee advises WHO and all partners to identify targets and scale-up community dialogue and participation engagement of traditional healers and other community engagement tactics to strengthen and broaden community acceptance in this region troubled by unrest.”

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the fact that a PHEIC has not been declared, makes no difference to our commitment or our ability to fight this outbreak.”

He also said “this outbreak is occurring in an area that has suffered from decades of conflict. We're working hard to strike a balance between protecting health workers and patients and securing the trust of communities.”

Dr Tedros called on the international community “to step up its financial commitment to ending the outbreak. We cannot intensify our efforts if we don't have enough funds.”

Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme reported that the Ebola vaccine “is demonstrating remarkable efficacy against infection. And therefore, we have to get the message to communities that this vaccine is highly effective.”

This was the second meeting of the committee on this outbreak. The first one took place on 17 October 2018.

The DRC Ministry of Health declared the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu on 1st August 2018. As of April 10 this year, total of 764 people have died from the virus, while 1206 were infected.
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