WHO / DRC EBOLA OUTBREAK END

18-Nov-2020 00:04:23
Today marks the end of the 11th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), nearly six months after the first cases were reported in Equateur Province. WHO
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STORY: WHO / DRC EBOLA OUTBREAK END
TRT: 4:23
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT WHO ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 7 JULY 2020, BIKORO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) /
SHOTLIST
JULY 2020, BIKORO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC)

1. Various shots, aerial views of village by the water
2. Various shots, WHO staff travelling by canoe
3. Wide shot, WHO staff getting out of a canoe
4. Various shots, vehicle crossing makeshift bridge on way to vaccination site
5. SOUNDBITE (French) Dr Mory Keita, Incident Manager for Ebola response in Equateur province, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The challenges during 11th epidemic were essentially logistical because the epidemic spread to 13 very remote health zones, in a rural setting, in the equatorial forest, with very, very difficult access.”
6. Various shots, WHO carrying vaccines and other materials into boat
7. Various shots, vaccines being transported to the hard to reach areas in boats
8. Various shots, health workers preparing for vaccination
9. Various shots, child being vaccinated
10. Various shots, health workers putting on PPE
11. SOUNDBITE (French) Marthe Apuwa Mungu, Recovered Patient:
“I advise people who experience symptoms of this disease that they have no fear of going directly to the hospital, because patients are given appropriate care at no cost.”
12. Various shots, Mungu in her village
STORYLINE
Today (18 Nov) marks the end of the 11th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), nearly six months after the first cases were reported in Equateur Province.

The outbreak took place in communities scattered across dense rain forests as well as crowded urban areas, creating logistical challenges. These were surmounted due to the leadership of the government and local communities, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners.

Health workers vaccinated more than 40,000 people at high risk. Vaccinators used an innovative cold chain storage to keep the Ebola vaccine at temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius. The ARKTEK freezers can keep vaccines at very low temperatures in the field for up to a week and enabled responders to vaccinate people in communities without electricity.

SOUNDBITE (French) Dr Mory Keita, Incident Manager for Ebola response in Equateur province, World Health Organization (WHO):
“The challenges during 11th epidemic were essentially logistical because the epidemic spread to 13 very remote health zones, in a rural setting, in the equatorial forest, with very, very difficult access.”

The outbreak in western DRC, announced on 1 June 2020, came as another Ebola outbreak in the eastern part of the country was winding down, and finally declared over on 25 June 2020. The two outbreaks were geographically far apart. Genetic sequencing analysis found that they were unrelated.

By the end of the current 11th Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province there were 119 confirmed cases, 11 probable, 55 deaths and 75 people who had recovered.

Equateur Province was also the site of the country’s 9th Ebola outbreak, which was overcome in a little over three months in 2018 and had half as many cases reported. However, the response to the 11th Ebola outbreak had to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, which strained resources and created difficulties around the movement of experts and supplies.

There were challenges around the large number of cases in remote communities which were often only accessible by boat or helicopter and at times community resistance hampered response efforts.

SOUNDBITE (French) Marthe Apuwa Mungu, Recovered Patient:
“I advise people who experience symptoms of this disease that they have no fear of going directly to the hospital, because patients are given appropriate care at no cost.”

Under the leadership of the DRC government, most responders were mobilized locally, and they moved quickly, despite important logistical and access difficulties. Vaccination efforts began just four days after the outbreak was declared. Around 90 percent of the vaccinators were from local communities.

The response also tapped into the expertise of local health workers trained during the two recent outbreaks in the DRC. Responders worked closely with community members to increase understanding of the virus by visiting more than 574,000 households and providing more than 3 million people with pertinent health and safety information.
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