Close

Peter Piot comment on Ebola outbreak in DRC not being declared an 'international emergency'

The World Health Organization has announced today (Friday 14 June) that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is not a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The outbreak, which is the second largest on record and this week crossed the border in to Uganda, has led to 2,108 cases and 1,411 deaths so far.

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "The outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is an epidemic of enormous seriousness and there have now been cases across the border in neighbouring Uganda.

"Although the outbreak has not been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the situation is extremely concerning and much more must be done to support DRC in their efforts to bring this devastating outbreak under control. In light of the challenging environment and political fragilities, we urgently need to better work together with affected communities to earn their trust and improve engagement. High-level political support, improved coordination, and more financial resources are critically needed to support the courageous teams fighting this epidemic on the ground.

"While the current response has undoubtedly helped slow the disease’s spread, we must employ all of the tools at our disposal, including the large-scale use of the two vaccines currently available, produced by Merck and by Johnson & Johnson, to stop this outbreak from triggering an even greater catastrophe."