Geneva: The World Health Organization has received widespread praise for its quick response to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, although observers warn prevention and information to affected communities remain insufficient.
So far, 52 confirmed, likely or suspected cases of the deadly virus have been registered in DRC, including 22 deaths.
The UN health agency has been scrambling in this outbreak to prove it has learned its lesson after bungling the initial response to the 2013-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
WHO underwent a massive reform after being slammed for responding too slowly and failing to grasp the gravity of that outbreak until it was out of control.
Ultimately, that outbreak claimed more than 11,300 lives.
So this time, the UN agency jumped into action as soon as DRC on May 8 officially declared that Ebola had surfaced in rural northwestern DRC in a remote location called Bikoro.
Peter Salama, WHO's head of emergency response, pointed out this week that clinical care facilities have been set up, an air bridge has been established to Bikoro, emergency financing has been mobilised, protective gear and emergency medical kits have been supplied.
In addition, a targeted vaccination campaign has begun and more than 120 WHO staff have been deployed alongside numerous staff from other organisations, under the leadership of the DRC government....