UNICEF prepares DR Congo school children for Ebola response

A man crouches next to a girl holding a poster on Ebola Democratic Republic of Congo

A man crouches next to a girl holding a poster on Ebola Democratic Republic of Congo

Since the outbreak erupted on August 1, 103 confirmed and probable cases of Ebola have been identified in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 63 deaths, the health ministry said in an overnight update.

Besides the vaccine tested during the pandemic of 2014-2015, the authorities have already approved the use of four additional experimental therapeutic molecules, namely ZMapp, Remdesivir, Favipiravir and Regn3450-3471-3479 in the response against Ebola.

Vaccinations began last week in Mangina and Beni, the major town about 30 kilometers (18 miles) away where Ebola treatment centers have been set up.

Seven of the almost 75 health workers in Mangina have been infected, Tedros said.

The "ring vaccination" campaign sees health workers vaccinated first, along with people who have come into contact with Ebola patients.

This region is one of the most unstable and deadly in the country.

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The latest cases are particularly worrying because unlike the previous outbreak, in the remote Equateur Province, North Kivu is home to more than 5.7million people, making it one of the country's most densely populated regions.

"The virus is risky to us all", Tedros said.

Despite a decline in new cases, the World Health Organization can not assess whether the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is stabilized due to the challenge of identifying new cases in conflict-ridden red zones, according to Reuters.

"There is a decline (in new cases). but still, considering the accessibility and red zones, we can not say that the outbreak is stabilizing", he told a news conference.

Dr Jacques Katshishi, Ebola Operation Coordinator for DRC Red Cross said: "Local Red Cross volunteers are taking enormous risks to provide assistance and safe burials in the affected areas". Last week, an Ebola case was confirmed in Oicha health zone which is hard to access due to conflict. Aid workers, priests and government officials are held hostage in the area, he said.

The WHO chief said the risk of worldwide spread is low.

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