US convenes meeting to discuss Ebola outbreak in Great Lakes Region, West Africa

State Secretary Antony Blinken

The United States will on Friday March 26 co-host a meeting with different players to address the continuing threat of Ebola in West Africa and the Great lakes region.

Department of state spokesperson said in a statement that the meeting will bring together the Africa Centers for Disease Control, WHO Regional Office for Africa, the West African Health Organization, and the governments of DR Congo and Guinea.

They will discuss the continuing threat of Ebola.

“Secretary [Antony] Blinken will deliver opening remarks on behalf of the US delegation and in coordination with representatives from our African partners.”

“The meeting will review progress in strengthening health security capacity in West Africa and the Great Lakes Region since 2014, increase international coordination, and secure future funding and other commitments to address Ebola outbreaks,” the statement said.

A fourth case of Ebola was on February 7 confirmed in North Kivu, DR Congo.

The International Rescue Committee said it was “extremely concerned” that another Ebola outbreak in the area will devastate a community still reeling from the last outbreak, fighting Covid-19 and seeing increasing violence and food insecurity.

The last outbreak in this area was declared over less than a year ago and took the lives of more than 2,200 people, almost 66 per cent of those who presented with the virus.

Regional Vice President for the Great Lakes at the IRC Kate Moger said, “Another outbreak in North Kivu is a disaster. We cannot stress enough how difficult this will be for the people living in the province. They have faced decades of violence by armed groups and have now, between Ebola and Covid-19, been faced with disease outbreaks for almost three straight years.”

WHO said the source of the infection is still under investigation.

A week later on February 14, authorities in Guinea declared a new Ebola outbreak.

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