Statement on the end of the Ebola epidemic in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Media statement in response to the World Health Organization declaring the end of the Ebola epidemic in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Dr Josie Golding, Epidemics Lead at Wellcome, said:
“The declaration of the end of the Ebola epidemic in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the second worst Ebola outbreak in history, is very positive news. After nearly two years, this epidemic is now over thanks to the hard work of the brave and dedicated healthcare workers on the ground and we must not forget those who lost their lives during this time.  

“The global commitment to research has played a crucial role in supporting affected communities, finding diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. The support and scientific collaboration between researchers, governments, industry, NGOs and the World Health Organization has been key. It is a truly remarkable achievement that in just five years since the West African 2014-16 epidemic we have an approved vaccine and proven treatments that can reduce the threat of Ebola in the future. It is now critical to ensure that such interventions are available to all who need them. 

“This declaration marks an important milestone but research must continue. One clear lesson from the Ebola epidemic is that we must embed research into the response. With the worrying increase in cases linked to an Ebola outbreak in Mbandaka in western DRC, along with cases of COVID-19 rising in the region, it is vital we continue to support the DRC and other countries all around the world with fragile health systems.  

“It is only through science and collaboration that we will be able to end the COVID-19 pandemic. We must continue to unite an international effort, to ensure that all advances, including vaccines and treatments, are equally available to all, with no country left behind.”