Admist the Coronavirus, The Democratic Republic of Congo has provided a ray of sunshine in a world plagued with disease and deaths. The WHO (World Health Organisation) and DRC government have declared the world's second deadliest Ebola outbreak in the north-east of the country, over.
Prevalent since 2018, causing over 2,000 deaths, this outbreak was the largest Ebola outbreak after the West-African pandemic of 2014-2016, which killed 11,000 people. 3,470 were infected through this virus and with a 66% death rate in the outbreak, its killed 2,200 and more.
The positive of the North-eastern Congo outbreak, is the fact that it was the first time an outbreak occurred with widespread use of vaccine and treatment. The certified vaccine, developed by drug company Merck of Kenilworth, New Jersey, was provided to more than 300,000 people in the infected area. More than 80% of people who received the vaccine did not develop the virus and those who did, had extremely mild symptoms and cases. Two antibody-based drugs, called mAB114 and REGN-EB3, were instrumental in reducing deaths in Eastern DRC.
However, The head of the UN Emergency Ebola Response Office, Abdou Dieng, pointed out though that “before we even ended the 10th epidemic, an 11th epidemic was started in Mbandaka”.
“We have beaten Ebola in Eastern DRC but the struggle isn't over yet”, he said. A province, 'Equateur', on the opposite side of the country, has resurfaced with the ebola outbreak .
The DRC government wishes to use their infrastructural base, strategies, tools to counter the outbreak in Equateur and also to counter the Covid-19 pandemic in Congo, where over 7,000 people have already been affected by the virus. With better local leaders, stronger and experienced against countering such deadly diseases, the DRC faces the coronavirus ready and wary of the threat it poses. The DRC and its 9 neighbours now equipped with the ability to sustain itself and counter and survive through difficult situations, will look to replicate the use of their abilities and counter the covid-19 outbreak to their best ability. In a world affected to its deepest pore and its thought process revolving around the disease, the destruction of another outbreak has provided the international community relief, hope and inspiration as it sets it sights on the destruction of the coronavirus.
Till Next Time,
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