June 25, 2020

Chairman Risch Commends End of Ebola Outbreak in Northeastern D.R. Congo

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today commended the declaration by the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) that the Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) outbreak that has ravaged northeastern DRC since August 2018 has ended.

“As the world battles the coronavirus pandemic and the DRC continues to fight Ebola in Mbandaka, Équateur Province, the declaration of the end of the Ebola outbreak in northeastern DRC, the second largest Ebola outbreak on record, is positive news worth celebrating in these otherwise difficult times,” said Risch. “Brave and harrowing work was done by medical professionals, public health officials, local communities and governments in the region to contain and treat the Ebola outbreak. Even though the DRC continues to face significant challenges to peace and development, the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in the northeast is no longer one of them. While we celebrate this major milestone, we cannot lose sight of the fact that infectious diseases know no borders. We must remain vigilant in northeastern DRC, Mbandaka, and around the globe.”

Background:

  • This declaration came 42 days following the discharge of the last Ebola patient from a treatment center on May 16.
  • Since August 2018, there were 3,463 confirmed Ebola cases, with 2,277 lives lost in DRC and three deaths in neighboring Uganda. This was the second largest outbreak of Ebola in history.  
  • The United States provided more than $560 million to fight Ebola through the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Department of Defense, which worked side by side with the DRC government and international partners such as the WHO, UNICEF, and the World Bank, and numerous non-governmental organizations.
  • On June 1, 2020, a second, unrelated outbreak of Ebola was declared in Mbandaka, Équateur Province, in the northwest of the country.

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