May 14, 2018; The Conversation
Nineteen people have died recently from the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a ninth Ebola outbreak has struck. Responses from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Congo’s own health system have improved somewhat since the 2014 epidemic in which they proved devastatingly ineffective. However, US support this time is notably lacking.
The weaknesses that were revealed in 2014 included slow response times and poor communication, especially with affected communities. Connor Bamford, a virologist at the University of Glasgow, said “blame has been placed on the slow response of the international community, the fragility of the region’s health services, and the failure of public health campaigns to reach all people.” Since then, several organizational shifts have improved the outlook for future outbreaks.
For one thing, the WHO worked to develop better rapid response systems. WHO shouldered a lot of the blame in 2014 after over 11,000 people died. Nevashan Govender from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said th