With the 14 confirmed Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the health officials are working towards controlling the Ebola outbreak in the city which has over 1 million people.
Previously, the DRC had successfully managed the Ebola outbreaks but the hemorrhagic fever spread into an urban area is posing a major challenge to combat the outbreak.
The northwest city of Mbandaka, which has a confirmed case of Ebola, is situated on the Congo River and is just a few kilometres away from capital city of Kinhasa.
An emergency meeting was held by the WHO on Friday in which it said that Ebola poses a ‘very high’ risk to the Congo public. Moreover, WHO said that no restrictions have issued on international travel. The Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo are close by.
The WHO will be deploying about 30 experts to scrutinise and inspect the city, is working along with the Ministry of Health and also believes in engaging with the communities to prevent and treat and report about new cases.
WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti said Ebola spreading into an urban area is concerning and WHO along with its partners is working forward to find the voluntary contacts of confirmed Ebola cases in the Mbandaka region.
Moreover, WHO has deployed 4,000 experimental Ebola vaccines in DRC and more of the vaccines should reach DRC in the coming days. These vaccines had proved to be effective in halting the Ebola outbreak in the West Africa a few years ago. WHO says that the vaccinations will be administered soon in the coming weekend.
With the poor infrastructure and electricity supply in Congo, the only challenge that remains with the vaccine is that it has to store it in a cold temperature.
Notably, about 23 people have reportedly died and 42 people have contracted the virus since Epola outbreak began earlier in May.