Reacting to the decision by the World Health Organisation that the Ebola outbreak is not yet a global emergency, Oxfam Programme Manager in the DRC, Tamba Emmanuel Danmbi-saa, said:

“In the last three weeks, 204 new cases of Ebola have been recorded – an alarming increase and the worst period of the outbreak. These worrying figures show that the current response is not working.

“It is critical that we do more to ensure communities are treated as equal partners. The relationship with them is currently broken and needs to be fixed if we are to halt the spread of Ebola. Too often, local health workers and local health clinics have been side-lined and the Ebola response has created a parallel system which has not won local people’s trust.

“We have to use the experience of local communities, involve local leaders and train local people to decontaminate, carry out safe burials and manage effective community-based surveillance to isolate people and refer them to clinics as early as possible.”

It was the view of the Emergency Committee convened by WHO, that the ongoing Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

However, the Committee did express deep concern about the recent increase in transmission in specific areas, and therefore the potential risk of spread to neighbouring countries.