Ebola Response Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:37 pm on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 1:37 pm, 20th November 2018

I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s comments. I want to reassure the House that from the very get-go—both with this outbreak and in the earlier outbreak—the UK made it clear that we will provide resources. What we really need is for the WHO and the DRC Government to co-operate on delivering them. He will be aware that some very brave people from Public Health England were able to fly out to the first outbreak, when the experimental vaccine was deployed for the first time. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to their amazing bravery, and indeed to the bravery of all health workers involved in this particular deployment.

I would also like to underline the other ways in which the UK is providing support. Financial support is obviously important, as was the initial support from Public Health England in terms of the cold chain. We helped to develop the vaccine and we also help in terms of widespread support to the health systems in poorer countries, including the DRC, where I was able to see some of the work that we have helped to support. We also support the MONUSCO peacekeeping operation, so there is a wide variety of ways in which the UK helps.

On the hon. Gentleman’s specific point about other experimental vaccines that we may be investigating, I will write to him.