Outside of the case in Goma, and three fatal cases in Uganda last month, the outbreak has been confined to other largely rural regions of North Kivu and Ituri. These include deployment of 41 multi-disciplinary public health experts, training of more than 800 local healthcare workers and community volunteers, contributions to surveillance and investigations, and provision of personal protective equipment and GeneXpert machines to health facilities. "We were fortunate that there were not more infections there or in the rest of the United States. We have a National Health Security Committee which should be meeting very soon to discuss the threat", she said. Since last August, more than 1,700 people have died of ebola.
Following this, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment here said it continues to work closely with its regional and worldwide partners, including the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Pan American Health Organization, to monitor the situation and to maintain the health and wellness of the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The WHO, in declaring the DRC Ebola virus disease outbreak as PHEIC, mainly took into consideration the first confirmed case in Goma, a city of nearly two million inhabitants and close to the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world, it was noted.
According to the AU and World Health Organization, such measures on restrictions on travel and trade from the Ebola-affected countries "compromises economies and impede response operations".
'It is important that the world follows these recommendations.
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"No country should close its borders or place any restrictions on travel and trade, including general quarantine of travelers from the Ebola-affected countries, now the DRC", the joint AU-WHO statement read. The UN has also recognized the seriousness of the emergency by activating the Humanitarian System-wide Scale-Up to support the Ebola response.
"This is about mothers, fathers, and children; too often entire families are stricken".
Dr Merlene Fredericks-James says while the risk of getting a case of Ebola is extremely low here, the possibility of being affected exists, regardless of how low it may be.
The response to the most recent outbreak has been complicated by sporadic assaults on well-being staff, and conspiracy theories concerning the current vaccine.