Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ebola

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 19th May 2022.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the risks of the Ebola outbreak identified in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo on 23 April 2022.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Ebola virus disease is endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and naturally present in some animal species. The outbreak identified in Mbandaka is DRC's 14th outbreak on record and the fifth in the past 4 years. Since the current outbreak was declared on 23 April there have been 3 confirmed cases, all sadly deceased. The World Health Organisation (WHO) assess the risk of the outbreak as moderate at the regional level and low at the global level. DRC's growing expertise in responding to outbreaks, the development of effective vaccines, and the greater inclusion of communities in response efforts, has led to significant progress in the management of Ebola outbreaks.

The DRC Government initiated a rapid response to the current outbreak with key activities, including vaccination, beginning within days of the outbreak being declared. UK supported response mechanisms, such as the UN's Central Emergency Response Fund which has allocated $2 million, have enabled the response to address key risks and meet immediate needs. No new cases have been confirmed since 4 May. We continue to work with the DRC Government and partners to track the outbreak and response. The UK Health Security Agency is closely monitoring the situation, including assessing the risk to the UK.

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