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The Brief: 'Just dealing with Ebola and walking away is unacceptable'

A health worker dressed in protective suit disinfects an ambulance transporting a suspected Ebola patient to the newly constructed MSF Ebola treatment centre in Goma
A health worker dressed in protective suit disinfects an ambulance transporting a suspected Ebola patient to the newly constructed MSF Ebola treatment centre in Goma Copyright REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Copyright REUTERS/Baz Ratner
By Isabel Marques da SilvaMeabh McMahon
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Around 400 million euros are needed in the next six months for health and social work. to battle Ebola. Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme tells Euronews the health system needs strengthening or Ebola will come back.

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The UN Secretary-General tried to get the world's attention to the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo; during his visit, last Sunday, to the North Kivu province, a region raged by conflict.

Around 400 million euros are needed in the next six months for health and social work.

The current epidemic of this highly infectious disease started one year ago and already killed more then 2000 people, two thirds of the total cases registered.

The aid is also needed for the ongoing vaccination trial and the health staff training, said an WHO representative in his expose to the European Parliament's Development Committee.

"We started with 50 international vaccinators and we have now 450 Congolese trained. We have over 200 doctors and nurses trained in Ebola treatment. At the core of this, the health system is weak and needs to be strengthened. So, while we can stop the outbreak, it will come back again and Congo has measles, monkeypox, chikungunya and so many other challenges. So; just dealing with Ebola and walking away is just unacceptable," explains Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

The experts say its vital to work further with local health care structures and increase educational campaigns, areas which the EU is willing to invest on.

"It is going to be a dialogue to see how we can manage to finance; also how we can maybe involve others in it like the private sector and other sources of financing. Above all, we need to gain the population's trust, so that they go those health centers; that they also trust the qualified staff," says MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Germany, Greens).

The UN is also making prevention work in nine DRC's neighbouring countries, especially Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

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