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End of the 10th Ebola outbreak in DRC: An FETP milestone

June 25, 2020 marked the end of the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Partner collaboration is the best description for the term success in this outbreak.  The collaboration between the Government and multiple partners including donors and the community made the difference in the fight.

The Democratic Republic of Congo Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (DRC-FELTP) was created in 2013 to respond effectively to disease outbreaks and strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Agriculture. Established in collaboration with AFENET, US CDC, USAID, Kinshasa University (School of Public Health) and the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the program has trained over 300 residents across 9 cohorts have graduated from the advanced and frontline levels of the program. More than 150 alumni have participated in outbreaks across the DRC, most notably the polio and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks.

The Ebola outbreak, which was declared in North Kivu on August 1, 2018, was the second largest in the world, and was particularly challenging as it took place an active conflict zone. The Ministry of Health Situation report on 22 June 2020 recorded a total of 3470 cases (3317 confirmed and 153 probable) including 2287 deaths) and 1170 cured. The country has stayed 56 days without a new confirmed case. A total of 211 FETP residents supported the 10th EVD Outbreak since August 1, 2018. Residents supported contact tracing, surveillance and community education. The 10th outbreak registered 250, 000 contacts and 220, 000 samples were tested. Over 303 000 people were vaccinated over with the highly effective rVSV-ZEBOV-GP vaccine.