In response to the announcement today, that the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has officially ended, Oxfam warns that the communites affected still need support to rebuild their lives.
Tamba Emmanuel Danmbi-saa, Oxfam's humanitarian program manager in the DRC, said: "Today the DRC breathes a sigh of relief that the country is Ebola-free. The hard work and quick response from the health sector, the Government, aid agencies, and affected communities show what can be achieved through a well-coordinated team effort. Sharing knowledge has played a huge role in minimizing the impact of this outbreak - lessons have clearly been learned from the West Africa epidemic which claimed so many lives.
"But we can't walk away from the people whose lives have been hit hard by the crisis, or forget that the risk of future outbreaks remains high. As the country moves from red-alert to long-term response, some of the world's poorest people have been left even worse off by the fall in trade, farming and hunting during the outbreak.
"The sad truth is that Ebola's mark will remain long after the rest of the world has moved on. What Ebola victims need now is support to rebuild their lives - more money, improved community awareness and better health systems would help the DRC fight off the virus now and in the future."