USAID Provides Assistance to Democratic Republic of Congo for Ebola Outbreak

Sept. 26, 2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American people, through the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are providing more than $250,000 in assistance to the Democratic Republic of Congo in response to an outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Kasai Province. USAID support will expand ongoing surveillance and control activities for Ebola.

On Sept. 10 , the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Biological Laboratory of Franceville, Gabon , confirmed cases of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Kasai Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As of Sept. 17 , Kasai Province health officials had reported 380 suspected cases of Ebola virus, including 176 deaths, representing a 46 percent mortality rate. The epicenter of the outbreak is in the Mweka rural health zone although suspected cases have been reported as far as 186 miles away in neighboring East Kasai province. Significant delays in reporting suspected outbreaks hampered the government's ability to contain the spread of the disease. On Sept. 10 , following the confirmation of Ebola in West Kasai, the Congolese minister of health requested international assistance to contain the outbreak.

Last week, U.S. Charge d'Affaires Samuel V. Brock declared a disaster in response to the outbreak in West Kasai Province. USAID is working in conjunction with the CDC to monitor humanitarian conditions and determine the need for additional assistance. U.S. government health teams, including the CDC and USAID continue to coordinate with the DRC and other organizations to collect samples and confirm cases of the virus.

From 1999 to date, USAID has provided nearly $520 million in humanitarian assistance to vulnerable populations in the DRC, including support for food security and agriculture activities, health care, food assistance and transportation of relief personnel and materials.

For more information about USAID's emergency humanitarian assistance programs, please visit:

SOURCE U.S. Agency for International Development

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