‘We will win this battle’, says UN emergency Ebola response coordinator

‘We will win this battle’, says UN emergency Ebola response coordinator
‘We will win this battle’, says UN emergency Ebola response coordinator
Hello and welcome to the France 24 interview, the death toll from the Ebola virus in Dr Congo has passed a green Milestone. Over 2000 people have no died from the illness since August 2018. The latest fatality was a nine-year-old Congolese girl who crossed the border into Uganda. My guess today is David Gresley, you, an emergency Ebola response coordinator, joining us from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, David Pressley. Thank you for being with us, the worst outbreak in the history, Dr Congo. That’S absolutely correct. It’S been going on since April 2018. I was only detected in end of July 2018 and it’s continued since that time, with the death toll that you described as had a terrible impact on on the people in the region and continues to to be a major problem for for everyone. There. We need to find a way to quickly. Are there any treatments that can now cure disease? What about vaccines are they working has actually proven very effective, it’s not sufficient by itself to actually in the epidemic, but it can slow it down considerably by vaccinated people who been in contact with an Ebola victim has helped to contain a to a large degree. The epidemic in the zone that we find it today on the second new treatment, two new treatments have come online that have proven themselves and tests to be quite effective for the, for those who have not been vaccinated, possibility of surviving is much greater. Am it much easier to convince people to come for treatment still spreading relatively small town that was close to a major urban area where there’s a significant armed activity, Defense Forces in Uganda group based in the Congo? They carried out a lot of I’m really horrific attacks against the population and also had a significant impact on the response at that time, which allows a virus to to to grow an end to spread it to other Sundays. Giclee, The City of Ember, the most the largest city there and it kind of got into that area of a great movement of people going back and forth, which is carried it to different parts of the of the province into a hurry and like, as you mention A couple of cases of down gone to the border of Uganda around. What are you doing? There’S issues with the difficulty was linked to the political presidential campaign. Last year the national basically decided to not allow elections to go forward at the end of December. In this area, because of Ebola and that created a lot of mistrust as a result of that people suspicious as to why they were not allowed to vote, people began to talk and putting politicians in particular started saying that a bullet didn’t really exist. Or this is a plot against the law. We now, I think, come a long ways or overcoming that and Frankie the reality of so many people having died and close relatives having died has brought this to reality to a population, how much more accepting of messages. But we still have areas of a resistance to main challenge you faced and change to contain the armed group groups in the region, the area of the epidemic, the other armed groups are local groups, are more self-defense. Groups are easier to work with they kind of think they’re integrated into local community, so they’re, not hostile to the local community. Se ADF is so makes it a lot easier. We know key leaders who who have influence over them. The monusco forces can move actually freely in the areas in which they operate, so there’s many ways to find security for those who are responding. What I do believe we need to do is provide broader security, the population as a whole, which will then provide security to the responders. That’S true! In general, this response. We need to provide a larger support to the population, not just focused on the on Ebola, whether it’s insecurity of malaria, which kills many more people that Ebola Colorado, diesels. For example. How does the UN wants to do.? How do you intend to do. where we see high transmission and difficulty of access and we’re breaking it down as its Community resistance? If so, what is it? Do we need to get survivors in there to talk to people about it, so that they can explain how you get treats how you can recover? The people believe that the treatment centers will will heal them and it’s not a place to go to dive and placed into to survive like like. I said it’s also important to know who the key leaders are. The customary Chiefs are extremely important in this context to work with them because they have influence over the community. They often have contacts with the armed groups. Concern contact us because they have members who have been affected by Ebola. They want treat so over time. You can build up that confidence, but we need to focus where that transmission is highest and where the the access is most difficult and then we will we will. We will win this battle if we do that, some fresh as hell from Ebola survivors in fight against the epitome in which ways are they helping you. We also witnessed again day before yesterday, with the secretary-general: Ebola Treatment Center, other patients who had survived and were being released. They have the very good approach to that. It’S a big celebration: it’s not his somebody walking out of the sensor going home, there’s a real engagement with the communities in which they go back to there’s a celebration, singing dancing a return to life. It’S really quite extraordinary and quite heartwarming when you see that and it’s it’s a way to get people back into the community so that they’re accepted without the stigma number 1 and number 2. They become witness to how you can survive through early detection and early treatment. With treatment, the survival rate is much higher and combined with the new treatments, we can make Ebola more of a manageable disease that in the past, so their message and they’re witnessing to what they have experienced. We have found to be very, very Gordon in convincing people.. The reality of Ebola, but also the importance of early detection and early treatment, Public Health Emergency of international concern is the risk of seeing the disease spread across borders across the African continent. Very high hi, in fact, as long as it’s virus continues to circulate in the zone that it’s in it represents a daily threat to neighboring countries and two neighboring provinces. So it’s important that preparedness be done at quick reaction to the outbreak that we see outside of the Central Area transmission. But simultaneously we needed a deep focus to go and and to the source of where the transmission continues and am basically eliminated as a source. And then the periphery will be protected, they have to do both at the same time. Do you believe that one day you will win the battle against Ebola? No doubt in my mind we will win this battle, we’re winning this battle. It’S tough and there’s going to be many many weeks ahead of us to to finish this it with the right focus and the right allocation of resources. This this is quite nothing out. There. That’S insurmountable require real good thinking and I am hard work and consistent hard work to do so, but we will win this battle. We disown friends 24 and thank you to all of you for watching to stay tuned for more news on France. 24
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The death toll from the latest Ebola outbreak in DR Congo has passed a grim milestone. Over 2,000 people have now died from the virus. The latest fatality was a 9-year-old Congolese girl who had crossed the border into Uganda. David Gressly, the UN emergency Ebola response coordinator, spoke to FRANCE 24 from the capital Kinshasa.

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