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The DRC announces the end of the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak

Updated: Jul 25

BY: Saif Shahin

On the 25th of June, the health minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo announced that the world’s second-deadliest Ebola outbreak has come to an end.

The outbreak lasted for approximately two years and killed a total of 2,280 people.

The disease mainly took place in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces. These provinces face rampant corruption, armed conflict, and a general mistrust in aid organizations. This, along with the threats of COVID-19, a large measles outbreak, and widespread poverty greatly complicated the already unforgiving fight against Ebola.

The fight against Ebola was so challenging that the World Health Organization's Africa director, Matshidiso Moeti, stated: “At times, it (the fight against the Ebola outbreak) felt like mission impossible.”

The announcement was meant to be set in April, however, a new case emerged three days prior to when the Ebola-free declaration was expected. Furthermore, since 1976, when it was first found that humans can contract Ebola, the DRC has faced 11 outbreaks. These facts, along with the reality that the virus is endemic in animals that live in Africa’s tropical forests, which make up about 65% of the DRC, make many worried that another Ebola outbreak is going to occur in the near future.

Nevertheless, although the country still faces the threat of COVID-19, possibly another Ebola outbreak, and the world’s largest measles epidemic, this is finally a breath of good news for the troubled nation.

This particular Ebola outbreak posed an unprecedented challenge to the DRC's health ministry and the WHO. This is as, not only did the epidemic occur in an active conflict zone, but many residents were refusing vaccines and treatment due to their distrust with the Congolese government and humanitarian aid organizations.

This news is also highly beneficial for the world in the battle against the coronavirus. This is as the DRC's victory against Ebola shows us that one of the world’s poorest and most troubled nations was able to fight off a disease that has double the death rate of COVID-19. It gives the world some much-needed hope in this dire time.

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