Ebola: U.S. Deploys Disaster Response Team to DRC

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 02-Oct-2018

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced Monday that it has sent a disaster assistance response team (DART) to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help contain the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

This was made known in a statement released by the USAID Spokesperson, Clayton M. McCleskey on Monday.

STATEMENT BY USAID SPOKESPERSON CLAYTON M. MCCLESKEY ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF A DISASTER ASSISTANCE RESPONSE TEAM IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Statement

For Immediate Release

Monday, October 1, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to boost current efforts by the United States and the Government of the DRC to contain the outbreak of Ebola in Eastern DRC. The response to this Ebola outbreak is a priority for the U.S. Government since efforts to contain and prevent the disease from spreading to neighboring countries also keep it from coming to the United States.

The DART, an elite team of disaster and health experts from USAID and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will support the Government of the DRC and its partners in responding to and containing the current Ebola outbreak. The team will coordinate closely with the Ministry of Health of the DRC, the World Health Organization, other donors, and aid groups to bring critical assistance to affected populations, and to stop the outbreak before it spreads further.

When the current outbreak began in August, USAID and HHS immediately deployed staff to the region, and have been providing technical assistance on disease-surveillance, case-investigation, contact-tracing, and practices to prevent further transmission. USAID and HHS are also helping neighboring countries to keep Ebola from crossing their borders and prepare for a potential outbreak. The team of disaster experts will expand life-saving healthcare, water and sanitation, and other critical assistance to prevent the spread of the disease. The DART will also work closely with the Government of the DRC and health organizations to provide technical expertise.

The United States remains committed to helping the Congolese people in preventing the spread of this deadly disease.

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While USAID and the Health and Human Services Department initially sent staff to the area during the Ebola outbreak in early August, this is the first deployment of an elite DART team, which indicates increased concern from U.S. officials.

The World Health Organisation recently warned that renewed violence in eastern DRC has halted progress there and has increased the national and regional risk level to “very high” while the global risk remained “low.” However, the DRC Ministry of Health says community outreach efforts are starting to make progress in increasing collaboration.

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