May 15, 2018

Rapid response to Ebola outbreak

There are concerns that the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo may not fizzle out as has happened with the other most recent outbreaks there. This time the outbreak is near the Congo River, a transport route to Kinshasa. Officials are worried this could lead to a rapid and more widespread outbreak of the disease. In response, the DRC and U.N. agencies have begun deploying rapid response teams to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Devex reports that early funding pledges have also been announced in response to the outbreak of Ebola.

The United Kingdom government pledged 1 million British pounds ($1.36 million) on Thursday through the Joint Initiative on Epidemic Preparedness, with the Wellcome Trust committing a further 2 million pounds to support rapid response to the outbreak. The funds will be made available to the DRC government and WHO for research to support the operational response, according to a statement from the Wellcome Trust.

WHO released $1 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies to support response over the next three months, with the goal of preventing the disease from spreading to surrounding areas.