In response to the announcement today, that the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has officially ended, Oxfam’s humanitarian programme manager in the DRC, Tamba Emmanuel Danmbi-saa, said:
“Today the DRC breathes a sigh of relief that the country is Ebola-free. The hard work and quick response from the health sector, the Government, aid agencies, and affected communities show what can be achieved through a well-coordinated team effort. Sharing knowledge has played a huge role in minimizing the impact of this outbreak – lessons have clearly been learned from the West Africa epidemic which claimed so many lives.
“But we can't walk away from the people whose lives have been hit hard by the crisis, or forget that the risk of future outbreaks remains high. As the country moves from red-alert to long-term response, some of the world's poorest people have been left even worse off by the fall in trade, farming, and hunting during the outbreak.
“The sad truth is that Ebola’s mark will remain long after the rest of the world has moved on. What Ebola victims need now is support to rebuild their lives - more money, improved community awareness and better health systems would help the DRC fight off the virus now and in the future.”
Notes to editors:
Oxfam has helped over 96,000 people since the Ebola outbreak began in April 2018. We’ve helped over 50,000 people get clean water from water points we’ve installed, taught over 30,000 people how to improve hygiene and prevent the spread of Ebola, and reached over 13,000 people by going door-to-door with hygiene messages. Over 800 homes received ‘aqua tabs’ which meant they could have clean water.
Oxfam has also provided direct food assistance to 1,054 individuals in affected households to enable them cope with the impact of the epidemic.
Given the devastating impact of the outbreak, Oxfam is now planning to help people rebuild their livelihoods.