USAID gives US$8mn for fight against Ebola in DRC

Ebola Africa 1Ebola has caused thousands of deaths since the first outbreak in 2013. (Image source: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations/Flickr)The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has contributed US$8mn to support the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and World Health Organization (WHO) in tackling the Ebola outbreak

The USAID also provided personal protective equipment, laboratory supplies and two mobile labs.

Most of the Ebola cases are in the country's remote Bikoro health zone, which lacks the healthcare infrastructure to tackle the spread of Ebola.

The WHO last month reported one confirmed case of Ebola in Mbandaka, a city of 1.2mn.

This is a cause for worry because Mbandaka, which is close to the Congo River, which sees significant regional traffic.

The Ebola virus, which has caused several thousand deaths, is a communicable viral disease which causes severe bleeding, organ failure and could lead to death.

The first outbreak of the disease was recorded in Guinea in 2013 and later spread to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, with minor outbreaks in other regions.

Aid organisations such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Doctors Without Borders Southern Africa have also called for aid to support their operations in tackling the outbreak.

The Red Cross, in a separate statement, said that it has deployed a medical team of doctors, nurses and water and sanitation experts to help those affected by the virus.

So far, 25 people have been killed by the virus.

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