Norway supports Ebola response in DRC

APA-Kinshasa (DR Congo)

The Norwegian government is providing NOK 7.8 million to the efforts aimed at tackling the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a statement from Oslo on Friday says.

The nordic country is preparing to send a team of specialist health personnel and three isolation units developed in Norway for the transport of patients with highly infectious diseases in the DRC. 

Some 970 deaths have been confirmed following the Ebola outbreak in DR  Congo, began in August last year. 

The World Health Organization  (WHO) estimates that around 1 500 people may be infected and that the  risk of the outbreak spreading to neighbouring countries remains high.

The Norwegian Foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide was quoted in the statement as saying that it is worrying that the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has not been brought  under control, particularly in an area affected  by conflict, where the security situation is difficult and there is  considerable movement of people. 

"The government is giving priority to supporting the important work being done under the auspices of the UN.  We are therefore providing personnel and equipment from Norway, while  continuing to support WHO’s Ebola response activities,’ Søreide said.

 The current Ebola outbreak is taking place in a politically unstable area where the security situation is volatile, the Norwegian statement said. 

Norway’s efforts are being carried out in cooperation with the EU and WHO.

 Extensive vaccination efforts are underway. 

So far, around 100 000  people have been vaccinated against Ebola in DR Congo. 

Norway has  supported the development of the vaccine that is currently being used in  DR Congo through the Research Council of Norway’s Programme for Global Health and Vaccination Research (GLOBVAC). 

Through the global vaccine alliance Gavi, Norway has also provided funding for the establishment of  vaccine stores that have made it possible to make use of the vaccine.  

In addition, the new global vaccine partnership CEPI, which receives funding from Norway, is supporting the development and licensing of  further Ebola vaccines.

 In 2018, Norway provided NOK 28.5 million to the international Ebola response in DR Congo.


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