In the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the number of Ebola deaths has increased to over 200. From August, 291 ebola cases were confirmed and 201 deaths reported – the Ministry of Health in Kinshasa reported on Saturday. About half of the cases were registered in the 800,000-seat city of Beni in the restless North Kivu province on the border with Uganda. According to the Ministry, over 28,000 people have been vaccinated against this disease.
On Friday, the UN called on armed groups in the region not to hinder the fight against highly contagious viral disease. According to health minister Oly Ilung, threats, attacks and kidnappings are repeated, in which two helpers were killed.
Action Medeor called for increased efforts by the world community to provide access to health care for the poor. Speaking at the WHO World Health Organization on Thursday and Friday in Kazakhstan, Bernd Pastors, spokesperson for the executive committee of the charity organization, said: "Although the global community has made great progress, we now see increasing access to health care for the poorer population."
Forty years ago, over 100 WHO member countries signed a declaration that health is a human right, "Action Medeor". Millions of poor people around the world are still dying of easily cured diseases. In many parts of the world there is a shortage of healthcare professionals, hospitals and medicines.
The devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa about five years ago shows that combating individual diseases such as AIDS and malaria alone is not worth the effort, the Pastors emphasized. Only a functioning and well-equipped health system can protect people. Good basic health care, including vaccination and treatment of malnutrition, can significantly reduce the number of deaths in children, while ensuring more fair health for all.
By the end of 2013, the destructive epidemic of Ebola affected several countries in West Africa. In the following months, about 11,300 people were killed in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. This is the tenth wave of an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the disease was discovered in 1976.
Ebola is often a deadly viral disease. The transmission takes place through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person. (AFP, dpa, epd)