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Peter Piot reaction to Ebola outbreak in DRC being declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern

The World Health Organization has announced today (Wednesday 17 July) that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

"The response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is at a critical juncture. With more than 2,500 cases, over 1,600 deaths, and the recent case of a pastor with Ebola who travelled from Butembo to the border city of Goma, it shows no sign of coming under control.

"That is why I welcome the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. I hope that today’s decision serves as a wake-up call to drive high-level political action, improved coordination, and greater funding to support DRC in their efforts to stop this devastating epidemic. Critically, this support must reach the people of North Kivu and Ituri and contribute to vital work at the community level, providing the dedicated teams fighting this epidemic on the ground with the support they need and deserve.

"Facing this exceptionally complex epidemic, we must use all of the tools and approaches at our disposal, including the coordinated use of both the Merck and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. WHO has sounded the global alarm. Now, it is up to the world to act."