Kinshasa — THE Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is approaching 1 000 cases amid increased violence by armed groups.
Since the outbreak was declared in August 2018, there have been 993 confirmed and probable cases plus 621 deaths in the provinces of Ituri and North Kivu.
"This outbreak has gone on far too long," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organisation Organisation (WHO) Director-General.
WHO has reaffirmed its commitment to ending the outbreak and working with the government and communities to build resilient health systems.
Tedros said the communities affected by the Ebola outbreak are already traumatised by conflict perpetrated by rebel groups.
"Despite the increased frequency of attacks by armed groups, WHO will stay the course and will work with communities to end this outbreak together with the Ministry of Health and partners," Tedros said.
WHO and its partners require at least $148 million (R2,14 billion) to respond to the crisis within the next six months.
As of last week, $74 million (R1 billion) had been received.
WHO has more than 700 healthcare staff members in DRC.
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease affecting people and primates.
The latest outbreak is the worst in the history of the DRC, formerly Zaire.
It is the second deadliest globally following the one that claimed the lives of more than 11 000 victims in West Africa between 2014 and 2016.