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UK Steps Up Fight Against Ebola Following Outbreak In Democratic Republic Of Congo
Ebola health workers get ready to visit suspected Ebola patients in the DRC. Credit: Unicef
The UK is backing the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) Regional Preparedness Plan to support nine countries at high risk of receiving cases of Ebola from their neighbour, the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).

UK aid’s £1.5m of support will enable WHO to support countries with prevention, detection and containment of Ebola and other deadly diseases. It will also help important work being done at the community level, such as working with traditional healers, health workers and religious leaders around issues including safe and dignified burials. This will lead to an increased number of referrals of those with symptoms in harder to reach areas.

This new funding will help stop the immediate spread of the current DRC outbreak as well as build longer term resilience and follows significant support already committed by the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt in May. To date, the UK response has helped to stabilise the outbreak, but the threat of it spreading to other countries remains.

Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin said:

"The UK continues to act decisively to stop this outbreak of Ebola, an horrific contagious disease which has the potential to cause devastating loss of life.

"By supporting the WHO’s Regional Preparedness Plan, UK aid will help to scale up preparedness to ensure sustainability. We are not just waiting for the next outbreak to come along, but are actively working in partnership around the world to strengthen health systems. This is keeping us all safe from current and future global health emergencies.

"The UK has the resources and know-how to help contain the spread of epidemics, but there is still work to do. Outbreaks are inevitable but epidemics are preventable."

Dr Ibrahima-Soce Fall, WHO Regional Emergencies Director, said:

"Investing in preparedness is crucial to keep the world safe from Ebola. WHO is grateful for this additional funding from UK aid, which will support nine countries to better prevent, detect and respond to this deadly virus.

"The UK continues to be a global leader in the fight against deadly diseases like Ebola and support to WHO reform in Africa has helped bring about a swifter and better-coordinated response to the outbreak in the DRC, a sharp contrast to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone."

UK Steps Up Fight Against Ebola Following Outbreak In Democratic Republic Of Congo, 4th July 2018, 8:22 AM