USAID Welcomes the Official Declaration of the End of the Ebola Outbreak in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 25, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

 
Today, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared an end to the Ebola epidemic that has affected the Eastern part of the country since August 2018. The epidemic was the second-largest outbreak of Ebola in history: it caused more than 3,460 total confirmed and probable cases and 2,280 deaths. This declaration comes after 42 days-double the 21-day incubation period of the disease without a new confirmed or probable Ebola case in DRC's North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri Provinces.

The United States has provided nearly $600 million in assistance to help end the Ebola outbreak in the Eastern DRC. As the single largest donor to the Ebola response, the United States provided life-saving assistance through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhance surveillance for the disease, train health care workers, engage with communities, promote safe and dignified burials, and provide food.

The U.S. Government's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)-composed of disaster and health experts from USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-deployed to the DRC in September 2018 to work with the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa, humanitarian partners, and the Government of the DRC to bring this outbreak under control. The DART was critical to ending the epidemic and stabilizing affected communities. USAID and HHS/CDC experts managed funding for disease-surveillance, laboratory testing, the investigation of cases, and contact-tracing, as well as awards to partners in Eastern DRC to strengthen primary health-care facilities, rehabilitated infrastructure for water and sanitation, and provided additional nutritional support and food assistance.

The U.S. Government's investments in Ebola also resulted in several game-changing investigational countermeasures, such as a vaccine against the disease that has received approval from the HHS Food and Drug Administration, administered to over 230,000 people in the DRC, and two highly effective Ebola therapeutics.

Even though this tenth outbreak of Ebola in the DRC is officially over, USAID will continue to implement recovery activities to address the secondary impacts of the disease and reduce the stigmatization of Ebola survivors. USAID will work with our on-the-ground partners to monitor and provide follow-up care to the nearly 1,200 people who have contracted Ebola and lived, as well as educate communities to minimize the risk of new transmission.

Additionally, on June 1, 2020, the DRC Ministry of Health announced a new, eleventh outbreak of Ebola Équateur Province in Northwest DRC. The U.S. Government has mobilized resources and partners to contain the newly declared outbreak, and we are confident that USAID's assistance to building DRC's health-care and response capacity will help contain this latest emergence of the disease.

The American people provided assistance in the DRC before these outbreaks of Ebola began, and our commitment to the people of the DRC will continue after they end. The U.S. Government remains committed to strengthening health care in the DRC through public, private, and faith-based providers. Working together with our partners and the Government of the DRC, we aim to maintain zero new Ebola cases in Eastern DRC while building better and more resilient health institutions. We will continue to support rapid-response capabilities to ensure the Ministry of Health can contain any possible flare-ups or new outbreaks quickly. In addition, the U.S. Government has provided $16 million to health and humanitarian partners in the DRC to address the pandemic of COVID-19.

Last updated: November 18, 2020

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