UNICEF welcomed the announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today of the end of the 23-month long Ebola outbreak in the east of the country but warned that increased efforts must continue in response to a new outbreak in the north-western province of Equateur.
During the eastern DRC Ebola outbreak, UNICEF supported 3,812 health centers with essential water, hygiene, and sanitation services, provided more than 16,000 children with psychosocial support, and helped reach more than 37 million people across the country with life-saving information about the disease.
“Our experience tackling the outbreak in eastern DRC has shown us that strategic partnerships with community, religious leaders, journalists, radio stations, and civil society organizations, as well as generous funding, are instrumental to containing disease outbreak,” said UNICEF DRC Representative Edouard Beigbeder.
Ebola resurfaced in Equateur on 1 June and has so far killed 13 people and infected 24.
The Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC began in August 2018 and was the world’s second-deadliest – after the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa – and the first in an active conflict zone, killing 2,287 people and infecting 3,470. Children made up around 28 percent of all cases, compared to about 20 percent in previous epidemics.
UNICEF is also providing psychosocial support to Ebola patients – including children – and their families.