While the globe has been totally focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been fighting two battles, COVID-19 and the significantly more dangerous and lethal – Ebola.
The DRC has declared an end to the epidemic of Ebola in North-western Équateur Province, which began in June, 2020.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) congratulates the Government of the DRC, its international and local partners, and the Congolese people for having stopped two outbreaks of the deadly disease in one year.
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National authorities declared that a previous outbreak of Ebola in the Eastern DRC – the second largest in history – ended on June 25, 2020, after nearly two years.
In total, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has provided nearly $366 million in life-saving humanitarian assistance to fight Ebola in the DRC and neighbouring countries since 2018.
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This includes more than $18 million used in Équateur Province to track Ebola cases, train workers on the prevention and control of infections in health facilities, promote safe and dignified burials, conduct community-engagement programs, and communicate accurate information on the disease.
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American expertise and funding played a critical role in helping the Government of the DRC and its partners bring an end to both outbreaks of Ebola this year.
As part of these efforts, USAID deployed a Disaster-Assistance Response Team to the DRC.
This team of experts will continue to work with the Government of the DRC, the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and humanitarian partners to address any secondary impacts of the disease, reduce the stigmatization of Ebola survivors, and support rapid-response capabilities to ensure the Congolese Ministry of Health can contain any possible flare-ups or new outbreaks quickly.
Although the latest Ebola outbreaks are over, the commitment of the United States to the people of the DRC has not ended. The American people aided in the DRC for many years before these outbreaks, and remain dedicated to combating hunger, strengthening health care, and improving education in the DRC.
Working together with partners and the Congolese Government, USAID aims to have the capacity and infrastructure in place to allow them to detect rapidly and respond effectively to any new outbreaks of Ebola or other infectious diseases, should they occur, while building better and more resilient health institutions.