To the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the number of dead Ebola has risen to over 200. Since August 291 Ebola cases have been confirmed and 201 deaths reported, the Health Ministry said in Kinshasa on Saturday. About half of the incidents were recorded in Beni 800,000 residents in the troubled province of North Kivu on the border with Uganda. More than 28,000 people have been vaccinated against the disease, according to the ministry.
The UN called on armed groups in the region on Friday not to block the fight against highly contagious viral illness. According to Health Minister Oly Ilunga, there are repeated threats, attacks and kidnappings in which two assistants were killed.
The Medeor action called for more efforts from the global community to ensure access to health for the poor. Speaking at a World Health Organization WHO meeting Thursday and Friday in Kazakhstan, Bernd Pastors, a spokesman for the relief agency's executive board, said: "Although the world community has taken great strides, we are now seeing increased access to health care for poorer population ".
Forty years ago, more than 100 WHO member states signed the statement that health was a human right, Medeor said. Millions of poor people worldwide are still dying of illnesses that are easy to cure. In many parts of the world there is a shortage of workers in the health, hospital and drug sectors.
The catastrophic Ebola epidemic in West Africa about five years ago shows that fighting individual diseases such as AIDS or malaria alone is not worth it, stressed Pastors. Only a functional and well-equipped health system can protect people. Good primary health care, including immunization and malnutrition, could significantly reduce the death of children while providing a fairer health for everyone.
By the end of 2013, a devastating Ebola epidemic had plagued many West African states. In the months that followed, some 11,300 people died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It is the tenth outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease was first discovered in the country in 1976.
Ebola is a frequently fatal viral disease. Transmission is by direct contact with body fluids of an infected person. (AFP, dpa, epd)