Africa CDC closely monitoring new Ebola outbreak in DRC

Thursday June 04 2020

A motorcyclist rides along the main street in Mbandaka, DR Congo on May 19, 2018. PHOTO | KENNY KATOMBE |REUTERS


The African Union (AU) on Wednesday said its specialised health institution, the Africa CDC, is closely monitoring the situation while preparing to support responses to the new outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Following a notification by the Equateur provincial health authorities of community deaths on May 23 and 30, the DRC government on Sunday declared a new outbreak of EVD in Mbandaka in the northwest Equateur Province.

This is the 11th EVD outbreak in the DRC and it has already claimed four lives and infected four other people in the community, said a statement from the 55-member pan-African bloc.

The outbreak began at a time when experts were close to declaring an end to the 10th EVD outbreak in North Kivu Province, and when countries are fighting hard to control the Covid-19 pandemic, noted the statement.

As the DRC Ministry of Health is currently establishing a coordination and response mechanism to effectively contain the outbreak, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is closely monitoring the situation while preparing to support response to the outbreak at the national and regional levels.

The Africa CDC has briefed the leadership of the AU Commission about the outbreak and the Commission has pledged its solidarity and support to the DRC in responding to the outbreak, according to the statement.


It also said that the Africa CDC would redeploy its resources and team of experts supporting response to the 10th EVD outbreak in North Kivu to support response to the new outbreak in Equateur Province.

Cognizant of the risk that multiple disease outbreaks have on the DRC, the Africa CDC is working with the DRC government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners to strengthen response to both the 10th and 11th EVD outbreaks and the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. 

Africa CDC is a specialised technical institution of AU, which supports member states in their efforts to strengthen health.