“Don’t be fooled, it’s not over yet.” – Peter Piot, a co-discoverer of the Ebola virus and director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine warns of the need to continue the fight against Ebola to the end.
- Ebola fight needs $1 billion more to get to zero cases
The United Nations needs to raise a further $1 billion for the fight against West Africa’s Ebola epidemic after raising that same amount last year, according to the UN’s special envoy on Ebola. Most of the money is needed for the World Health Organization, UNICEF,and the World Food Program. Ebola has been a global health and security crisis of unprecedented proportion, but a combination of the right strategy and sufficient resources will help the UN and its partners continue their life-saving work to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa and bring casesdown to zero. Read the full report here.
- Mali: Declared free of Ebola transmission
Mali’s government and the United Nations announced that there is currently no more known Ebola virus disease in the country. Last weekend, the government of Mali shared this significant news, which demonstrates the progress being made in the fight against the Ebola virus. These results are further proof that Ebola can be beaten and signals the end of the outbreak in Mali. Read the full announcement here.
- Emergency Committee discusses effectiveness of travel bans
TheInternational Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee is the group that declares when an outbreak is a Public Health Emergency. Since first declaring the Ebola epidemic an emergency on August 8, 2014, the committeehas continued to extend the declaration and its recommendations on response efforts. In the most recent committee meeting, it was also noted that additional travel bans that have been put into place are not effective and countries should reconsider imposing them. Read the full announcement here.
- Ebola’s possible future as an endemic disease
Last fall, as the Ebola epidemic raged in West Africa, experts started discussing something that had never before been considered as a possibility: the idea of Ebola becoming endemic in parts of West Africa. Endemic diseases in that region of Africa, like malaria and Lassa fever, are constant presences. Instead of surfacing periodically, as it always has before now, Ebola in an endemic form would persist in the human population, at low levels of transmission, indefinitely. What would it mean exactly were Ebola to become endemic, and how would it change things? Read the full story here.
- Cases dropping in all 3 countries
Guinea reported its lowest weekly total of new confirmed Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases since the week ending August 3. Case numbers remain low in Liberia, with the lowest weekly total of confirmed cases since June. Sierra Leone has now reported a decline in case incidence for the second week running and recorded its lowest weekly total of new confirmed cases since August. Similarly, each country has sufficient capacity to bury all people known to have died from Ebola. See the weekly situation summary here for the latest facts and figures.
What’s coming up
High-level Ebola meeting: On Sunday, January 25, the WHO executive board will hold a special session on Ebola. Documents for this session can be found here. The executive board will also consider the proposed program budget for the upcoming year, method of work of the governing bodies, and a draft financial strategy. Outcomes from the meeting will be released next week. Watch the live webcast here.