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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 17 February 2021 - Ebola

DR Congo
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Turning to an update on the Ebola situation. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, vaccination teams are working in the north-east of the country. WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF, as well as other partners, are mobilizing to support the response, rehabilitating treatment centres and boosting contact-tracing capacity. Communication campaigns are also helping combat misinformation among local population to promote safe vaccination.

In Guinea, our UN team started a four-day mission today to assess the situation in the south-eastern part of Nzérékoré area, where the first case of Ebola was reported. The mission is led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Vincent Martin, with representatives from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as, of course, the World Health Organization.

Less than 24 hours after the official declaration of the epidemic, the UN Humanitarian Air Service, with logistical support from the World Food Programme, organized a first humanitarian flight to the area. It carried personal protective equipment for health-care personnel, assistance kits for infected people and disinfection equipment. The UN delegation met with local authorities, as well as community leaders. They also took part in a crisis meeting organized by national authorities to roll out a rapid contact-tracing mechanism to assess the spread of the disease and establish an effective response plan. This includes emergency vaccine distribution, case management, crisis communications, and help with border management.