By Fred Kiva
A High level cross-border ministerial meeting on the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is underway in the Central African country’s City of Goma.
Uganda’s Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng who on Monday led the WHOUganda and the Ministry’s delegation to DRC says the meeting aims; “To discuss a joint framework for enhancement of cross border collaboration between DRC and the nine neighbouring countries that are at risk of EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) importation.”
Delegates from Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda among others are attending the meeting. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 2000 lives lost and 3000 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018 according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The outbreak is occurring in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. The outbreak early this year spread to Uganda and there have been recent reports of the disease spreading to Tanzania. With neighbouring countries standing this Ebola Virus risk, several joint mitigation measures are being taken, including cross-border collaboration.
Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam the World Health Organization Uganda Representative says; “One of the legacies of these cross-border meetings is putting in place mechanisms and platforms that will serve the urgent need to address public health emergencies across all borders.”