WHO’s stance in DRC Ebola outbreak criticised by experts

This is the second time the WHO expert panel has considered whether to classify the Ebola outbreak in the DRC a Public Health Epidemic of International Concern.

FILE: A hygienist is seen inside an Ebola Treatment Centre run by The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) on 12 August 2018, in Beni. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA – The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s decision that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is still not a global health emergency has been criticised by some medical experts.

The deadly haemorrhagic virus has killed 740 people in the DRC since last August.

This is the second time the WHO expert panel has considered whether to classify the Ebola outbreak in the DRC a Public Health Epidemic of International Concern.

As they did last October, the 11-person body determined that it was not because it had not spread to neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The outbreak has spiked since then, sickening more than 1,200 people and killing 63% of them.

The WHO has declared a global health emergency, which affects surveillance, trade and travel, only four times since 2005.