The global health community needs the humility to acknowledge that we have failed once again in an Ebola epidemic, say Karin Huster and Justin Healy
Nine months into the second largest Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen—the tenth to hit the Democratic Republic of Congo—and the data are brutally clear: whatever we, Ebola responders, have been doing so far has not been working. The Ebola response in North Kivu and Ituri, the two provinces in the DRC currently affected by the epidemic, is failing. Almost every day seems to bring a new record number of cases—many of which end in deaths in the community—and the overall mortality rate remains well over 60%.
It was not supposed to be this way. After the 2014 west Africa Ebola outbreak there was a determination that such a catastrophe should not be allowed to happen again. UN agencies restructured their emergency response teams, research teams plowed millions of dollars into new pharmaceuticals, and academic journals were full of new insights and understandings into this previously poorly understood disease. When the first cases of this outbreak were reported in August 2018, the Congolese government, WHO, the World Bank, and international medical organisations (including MSF) responded quickly, armed with strong financial support, a promising vaccine, new experimental treatments, and a far deeper understanding of Ebola than in 2014.
Read the entire story at The BMJ Opinion