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World Health Organization Declares Ebola Crisis an International Emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The EBOLA outbreak in the DRC has killed more than 1,600 people. Photo credit: JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images
The EBOLA outbreak in the DRC has killed more than 1,600 people. Photo credit: JOHN WESSELS/AFP/Getty Images

GOMA (July 17, 2019) – Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a public health emergency of international concern. The outbreak in the DRC has thus far killed more than 1,600 people.

Statement from Benoit Munsch, CARE’s Country Director in the DRC:
“The Ebola outbreak in the DRC urgently needs attention and support from the international community. The effort to combat Ebola in the DRC thus far has been monumental, but one place where we have failed to succeed is community engagement. The humanitarian community must work in partnership with local communities, addressing their feedback, in order to design programs that support them in the most effective way. Ebola will not be eliminated until local communities can play a more active role in the response.”

In Goma, CARE continues to raise awareness on key prevention measures against Ebola and among the communities in which we work, as well as among CARE staff and our partners. Additionally, CARE continues its response to Ebola in DRC, which started in August 2018 when the breakout was confirmed.

CARE’s work includes community engagement via community-based surveillance approach, construction of water infrastructure in schools, communities, market and health facilities, training of health staff and provision of protection equipment, and distribution of necessary kits for personal hygiene, especially for women and girls who are most susceptible to be infected with the virus due to their traditional role in caring for other family members.

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to confront hunger, ensure nutrition and food security for all, improve education and health, create economic opportunity and respond to emergencies. In 2018, CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 56 million people around the world.

Mahmoud Shabeeb, +962-79-146-39-03 mahmoud.shabeeb@care.org (based in Amman, Jordan); Vanessa Parra, +1-917-525-0590, vanessa.parra@care.org

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