IFRC calls for aid to tackle DRC Ebola outbreak

Ebola DRC StoryThe International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), in a statement, called for aid to the tune of about US$15.1mn to support its operations in tackling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The aid organisation said the money will be used to support more than 716,000 people over the next six months.

“We must remain vigilant and we need to continue strengthening community based-surveillance. The risk of spreading within the country and to neighbouring nations remains real. One of the lessons we learned in our response to other deadly Ebola outbreaks is that complacency can kill,” said Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, IFRC’s regional director for Africa.

“Our emergency operation includes a major focus on safe and dignified burials. This was a critical intervention in West Africa where it prevented as many as 10,000 additional cases,” Nafo-Traoré added.

The IFRC said that at least 27 people have died from the outbreak that was first confirmed on 8 May in Bikoro health zone.

“We have responded to all past Ebola outbreaks in the country and have a strong, in-country network of experts,” said Grégoire Mateso, president of the DRC Red Cross.

“We are calling on partners to invest more substantially in local capacity. Red Cross volunteers are uniquely placed to reach all parts of affected communities, with life-saving information and humanitarian aid,” Mateso added.

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.

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