WHO / EBOLA UPDATE

08-Jun-2018 00:03:07
One month since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said they are “cautiously optimistic”, adding that there is still “very tough work to do” and Ebola must never be underestimated. WHO
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STORY: WHO / EBOLA UPDATE
TRT: 3:07
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 JUNE 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / 07 JUNE 2018 ITIPO, ÉQUATEUR PROVINCE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO / 29 MAY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
29 MAY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Exteriors, WHO headquarters
2. Close up, WHO logo

08 JUNE 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

3. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Salama, Deputy Director General for Emergency and Preparedness, World Health Organizasion (WHO):
“This is a major logistical and boots on the ground epidemiological effort now to trace every one of these cases and contacts and this tough work is going to go on for few weeks especially given that we had a case as recently as yesterday confirmed. So that is where we are with the outbreak so we are cautiously optimistic but there is a lot of very tough work to do in phase two before we can say that we are on the top of this outbreak and we have learned the hard way in the past, never to underestimate Ebola.”

4. Med shot, Peter Salama sitting next to Tarik Jasarevic, WHO spokesperson
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Salama, Deputy Director General for Emergency and Preparedness, World Health Organizasion (WHO):
“Now we are into phase two. And this is what we really need to do for the next few weeks in terms of focus. The focus of the response now has to turn to this rural, isolated, communities in Iboko and Itipo. There are all under Iboko health zone. The challenge is quite different there. We are talking about some of the most remote territories on earth. We are talking about forested areas, we are talking about populations that are more than 50 per cent indigenous populations and are already marginalized populations who have to be reached with community mobilizers and community engagement strategies and social mobilization.”
6. Close up, Salama listening to a journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Peter Salama, Deputy Director General for Emergency and Preparedness, World Health Organizasion (WHO):
“We have added cause for optimism because now we have reached for the majority of the contacts more than 98 per cent of the contacts with the vaccination. And because of the vaccination for the majority of them occurred 10 days ago, we believe that the majority of those contacts in the ring vaccination are now protected against Ebola so that gives us a lot of source of optimism along with the fact that we haven’t seen cases since mid-May in those two locations. So phase one: protect urban centers and towns has gone well, and we can be cautiously optimistic.”

29 MAY 2018, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

8. Close up, WHO logo

07 JUNE 2018 ITIPO, ÉQUATEUR PROVINCE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

9. Various shots, WHO team member visiting a community in Itipo with local community mobilizer
10. Various shots, community mobilizer measuring the temperature of a woman
11. Various shots, WHO staffer leaving on a motorcycle
STORYLINE
One month since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the World Health Organization (WHO) said they are “cautiously optimistic”, adding that there is still “very tough work to do” and Ebola must never be underestimated. WHO

Speaking to reporters today (8 Jun) in Geneva, Peter Salama WHO’S Deputy Director General for Emergency and Preparedness said “this is a major logistical and boots on the ground epidemiological effort now to trace every one of these cases and contacts and this tough work is going to go on for few weeks especially given that we had a case as recently as yesterday confirmed.”

He added “that is where we are with the outbreak so we are cautiously optimistic but there is a lot of very tough work to do in phase two before we can say that we are on the top of this outbreak and we have learned the hard way in the past, never to underestimate Ebola.”

Salama also said “now we are into phase two. And this is what we really need to do for the next few weeks in terms of focus. The focus of the response now has to turn to this rural, isolated, communities in Iboko and Itipo. There are all under Iboko health zone.”

He noted that the challenge is quite different there. He said “we are talking about some of the most remote territories on earth. We are talking about forested areas, we are talking about populations that are more than 50 per cent indigenous populations and are already marginalized populations who have to be reached with community mobilizers and community engagement strategies and social mobilization.”

Salama also said that “we have added cause for optimism because now we have reached for the majority of the contacts more than 98 per cent of the contacts with the vaccination. And because of the vaccination for the majority of them occurred 10 days ago, we believe that the majority of those contacts in the ring vaccination are now protected against Ebola so that gives us a lot of source of optimism along with the fact that we haven’t seen cases since mid-May in those two locations. So phase one: protect urban centers and towns has gone well, and we can be cautiously optimistic.”

According to WHO, on 4 June, an ethics committee in DRC approved the use of five investigational therapeutics to treat Ebola, under the framework of compassionate use/expanded access. This is the first time such treatments are available in the midst of an Ebola outbreak.

Clinicians working in the treatment centres will make decisions on which drug to use as deemed helpful for their patients, and appropriate for the setting. The treatments can be used as long as informed consent is obtained from patients and protocols are followed, with close monitoring and reporting of any adverse events. Four of the five approved drugs are currently in the country. They are Zmapp, GS-5734, REGN monoclonal antibody combination, and mAb114.
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