GENEVA / DRC EBOLA RESPONSE

16-Jul-2019 00:02:28
Ahead of a key meeting at the United Nations to decide whether to declare the ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) an international health emergency, UNICEF warned that the epidemic is proving deadlier among under-fives than ever before. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / DRC EBOLA RESPONSE
TRT: 02:28
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 16 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
RECENT, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations

16 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, podium and journalists
3. Close up, journalists typing
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson, UNICEF:
“This outbreak is affecting more children than previous outbreaks of Ebola. As of 7 July, there have been 750 infections among children. This represents 31 per cent of total cases, compared with about 20 percent in previous outbreaks.”
5. Med shot, journalists typing
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson, UNICEF:
“The latest data I have is that the case fatality ratio for that under-five group was 77 percent.”
7. Close up, journalists typing
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson, UNICEF:
“Health workers need to be equipped with the capacity and the resources to implement basic infection prevention and protection control, and that’s not happening enough, that’s one thing. And I think second: we need to do more prevention at scale against all the other diseases that children are contending with: measles, malaria, cholera, their major nutritional problems.”
9. Close up, journalist
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“They will talk about vaccinations, health workers, community engagement, epidemiological trends, the latest on survivors, you know, everything will be discussed.”
11. Close up, journalists typing
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The Committee would like to avoid, putting a country in isolation, in fact, in a way that might impede the response.”
13. Close up, journalists
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“We have not experienced any shortage of vaccines so far, during this outbreak.”
15. Close up, journalists
16. SOUNDBITE (English) Fadela Chaib, Spokesperson, World Health Organization (WHO):
“What we have for the neighbouring countries of DRC is preparedness plans, for nine countries around DRC; what we do is send teams to work with the national authorities, to check their stages of preparedness. For example, they will check if they have the ability to test Ebola cases in their laboratories.”
17. Close up, journalist typing
18. Medium shot: journalist texting.
19. Wide shot: podium
STORYLINE
Ahead of a key meeting at the United Nations to decide whether to declare the ongoing Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) an international health emergency, UNICEF today (16 Jul) warned that the epidemic is proving deadlier among under-fives than ever before.

Briefing journalists in Geneva, UNICEF spokesperson Marixie Mercado said that the outbreak in the north-east of the country which began last August “is affecting more children than previous outbreaks of Ebola.”

To date, there have been more than 2,500 cases of infection and nearly 1,670 people have died in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu, according to WHO, making it the worst outbreak the country has ever faced and the second largest epidemic on record.

Citing data from 7 July, Mercado added that “there have been 750 infections among children. This represents 31 per cent of total cases, compared with about 20 per cent in previous outbreaks. The latest data on case fatality ratio indicates that for the under-five group “was 77 percent.”

By her side, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Fadela Chaib confirmed that an emergency meeting on the DRC outbreak will take place on Wednesday afternoon in Geneva.

Announced a day earlier by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the aim of the meeting is for DRC representatives, UN health experts and partners to decide whether the situation warrants declaring an international emergency, guided by International Health Regulations.

Chaib said, “they will talk about vaccinations, health workers, community engagement, epidemiological trends, the latest on survivors, you know, everything will be discussed.”

This is the fourth time the emergency panel will have met during the current outbreak, and it follows confirmation that the disease has been identified in Goma, a city of two million people that borders
Rwanda. Every month, an estimated 1,100 people cross the border into Rwanda, according to WHO.

Underscoring the significance of the emergency panel’s deliberations, Chaib noted that the Committee “would like to avoid putting a country in isolation,” which “in a way that might impede the response.”

Regardless of the Committee’s decision, measures are already in place to prevent the transmission of Ebola from DRC across its vast borders.

Chaib said, “what we have for the neighbouring countries of DRC is preparedness plans, for nine countries around DRC,” adding that “what we do is send teams to work with the national authorities, to check their stages of preparedness. For example, they will check if they have the ability to test Ebola cases in their laboratories.”

At the same time, the WHO official confirmed the “97 percent” efficacy of the Merck vaccine when it is administered to Ebola patients within 10 days of displaying signs of infection, adding that “we have not experienced any shortage of vaccines so far, during this outbreak.”

According to WHO’s Director-General on Monday, more than 161,000 people have received vaccinations, 140,000 contacts have been traced and 71 million travellers have been screened, at a cost of $250 million “and counting.”
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