This Thursday, June 28, 2018, all people who have been in contact with the last confirmed case of Ebola have completed their 21-day follow-up period without showing signs of contamination. This is an important step in the response to the Ebola outbreak as it marks the beginning of the countdown to the announcement of the end of the ninth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The end of the epidemic will be declared when the country has spent 42 days, two incubation periods, without notifying a new confirmed case of Ebola.
This epidemic was the most complex and difficult epidemic the country had to deal with, mainly because it started in two rural areas at the same time and quickly reached a city of more than one million people. inhabitants directly connected to Kinshasa, our capital where more than 12 million Congolese live. However, thanks to rapid national and international mobilization and the Government's leadership in coordinating the response, we managed to control this high-risk epidemic in just seven weeks.
This is a real achievement of which we must all be proud. The key to our success is, first and foremost, the effectiveness of the national and international monitoring teams on the ground who have done, and continue to do, outstanding work. They managed to identify and follow 1,706 contacts who were among the first to benefit from the new Ebola vaccine.
The use of vaccination in this response to Ebola has undeniably helped to break the chain of transmission and contain the virus faster. Since the start of the immunization microplan on May 21, 3,330 people have been vaccinated and immunized against the Ebola virus. So far, the results of the vaccination have been conclusive because none of the vaccinated people developed the disease nor experienced major side effects.
Although we are heading towards the end of the epidemic, the work of the Ministry of Health does not stop there. Our priority now is to improve the resilience of the health system by starting with the expansion of our emergency operations centers in Mbandaka and Kinshasa. As Ebola is a virus whose natural reservoir is located in the equatorial forest, we must prepare for the 10th epidemic. In addition, because of the increasing mobility of the population, it is likely that other epidemics will occur in urban areas in the future. Therefore, we need to learn from this response and strengthen our health system so that it can detect and respond even more efficiently to the next epidemic.
Ebola outbreak in DRC
On Thursday 28th June 2018, all the people who have been in contact with the last confirmed Ebola case have passed the 21-day incubation period of any signs of an Ebola infection. This is an important milestone in the Ebola response as it marks the beginning of the countdown towards the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The end of the outbreak will be declared when the country spends 42 days, or two incubation periods, without notifying new confirmed Ebola cases.
This is one of the most important events in the world, and one of the largest cities in the world. more than 12 million Congolese live. But thanks to a national and international mobilization, we managed to contain this high-risk outbreak in just 7 weeks.
This is a great achievement that we should all be proud of. The key of our successes, primarily, in the performance of the national and international surveillance teams on the ground, which have been - and are still - doing an outstanding work. They managed to identify and trace 1,706 contacts who were among the first recipients of the new vaccine against Ebola.
The use of immunization in this world has changed dramatically more rapidly. Since the beginning of the microplan vaccination on May 21st, 3,330 people have been vaccinated and immunized against the Ebola virus. So far, the results of the vaccination have been promising that they have not been vaccinated.
While we are heading towards the end of the outbreak, the work of the Ministry of Health does not end here. Our priority is to improve the resilience of the health system starting from the expansion of our emergency operations in Mbandaka and Kinshasa. As Ebola is a virus whose natural reservoir is located in the Equatorial Forest, we must prepare ourselves for the 10th Ebola outbreak. Moreover, with the greater mobility of the population, we can expect to have other urban areas in the future. We must learn the lessons from this response and more easily to the next outbreak.