The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently begun its vaccination against Ebola in Goma in July 2019. The vaccination occurred after the first case of the virus was recognized in the city alarming health officials. The director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the problem could be a game-changer in the ongoing epidemic.
Ebola has taken the lives of more than 1,600 people so far and has yet to hit major urban centers. Goma has a population of around two million citizens and is the closest city to Rwanda – making it an even concerning matter. Nevertheless, Goma was prepared for the arrival of Ebola by setting up hand-washing stations, vaccinating 3,000 health care workers, and running an operational treatment center since February. The WHO emergency committee will gather again for a meeting to consider raising the global alarm over the outbreak after deciding against it in three separate meetings. International health emergency declarations will help boost global awareness and increase aid – something that the DRC needs now to reduce cases to zero.
Despite the cry for help, international donors are reluctant to provide additional support. However, the United Kingdom’s international development secretary, Rory Stewart, pledged an additional $63 million of aid from the British government. Other nations like the United States and the European Union are examining the possibilities to scale up its response for aid. The situation in the DRC is extremely delicate, and WHO is going to need more resources to combat Ebola successfully.