ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, 30 June 2020. On 25 June 2020, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an end to the 10th Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Eastern Provinces (North and South Kivu and Ituri), 23 months after the outbreak began. A total of 3470 cases, 2287 deaths and 1170 recoveries were reported during the epidemic. A total of 3470 cases, 2287 deaths and 1170 recoveries were reported during the outbreak. Forty-one healthcare workers lost their lives while caring for Ebola Virus Disease patients.
“We congratulate the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for this landmark achievement and express our sincere condolence to the families that lost loved ones because of the outbreak. We also commend the courage of all our healthcare workers who risked their lives working under challenging situations to ensure that this outbreak was contained. Their gallant sacrifice will always be remembered,” said H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared the 10th Ebola Virus Disease outbreak on 1 August 2018, a week after declaring an end to the 9th outbreak. In July 2019, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern after cases were reported outside the outbreak hotspot and close to the borders between Democratic Republic of Congo and some of its neighbouring countries, specifically Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda.
In support of the Government of the Republic of Congo, the African Union Commission deployed 65 frontline healthcare workers and 27 staffers of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to support the Ebola Virus Disease response. In collaboration with the government and other partners, these experts investigated 57,406 alerts, conducted active case-finding for 27,767 suspected cases, and supported tracing of over 8000 contacts. They received and tested 42,775 samples in the six laboratories supported by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and trained 3,845 healthcare workers in infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, point-of-entry and community-based surveillance, and contact tracing.
During the outbreak, clinical trial of two antiviral drugs, regeneron (REGN-EB3) and mAb114, were conducted successfully and this contributed to increased overall survival rates for Ebola Virus Disease patients.
“Our greatest joy is that this outbreak has contributed to knowledge and science about Ebola Virus Disease. As a result of the hard work of researchers, two drugs have been found to be efficacious and safe and have been approved for the treatment of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a significant achievement that will help improve treatment outcome for patients infected with Ebola Virus Disease in the future,” said Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa CDC.
Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention appreciates the efforts of partners, particularly the World Health Organization, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, other United Nations entities, and many other partners that invested technical and financial resources to ending the outbreak. We also appreciate the solidarity shown by African Union Member States and other governments outside Africa. As we celebrate the end of the 10th Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, attention needs to be paid to controlling the 11th outbreak in the Equator Province of the country, where 27 cases and 13 deaths have been reported as of 30 June 2020.