DR Congo: Authorities approve more experimental Ebola treatments

Four experimental treatments against the deadly Ebola virus have been approved in two provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The treatments were tested and approved in the two provinces of North Kivu and Eastern province.

Reports from the health ministry indicate that 76 cases were unsuccessful meanwhile some other 10 patients are undergoing treatment for the virus.

This treatment consists of anti-bodies from a survivor and patient that is reportedly showing signs of improvement.

It is the first time that such a treatment has been used against an active outbreak.

Though some of these patients are showing signs of progress, the outbreak of the virus continues to spread DR Congo.

Health authorities in the country have already started administering the US developed treatments, Rendesivir, ZMapp, Favipiravir and Reng3450-3471-3479

The four additional treatments approved by Congo’s Ethics Committee are made by US based Gilead Sciences.

The first patient to have been administered this treatment is in good shape in the town of Beni.

The ongoing vaccination campaign in the North Kivu province is facing challenges due to the porous nature of the borders with Uganda.

Patients in these zones have difficulties to have the treatment due to militia activity.

The health authorities have noted that 5000 doses of the vaccine are in stock.

Outbreak of the Ebola virus

The killer virus was diagnosed in 2013 in the West African countries of Sierra-Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Between 2013- 2016, Congo has served as breeding ground for the Ebola virus. This is the reason the DR Congo is at the forefront of the campaign to combat the virus.

Statistics from the World Health Organisation indicate that it has killed more than 11,000 people in the West of Africa.

Health experts have it that one of the reasons why Ebola is prominent in the DR Congo is because of its significant forest vegetation.

Just to note is the fact that, this is the 10th outbreak in the country’s conflict zone.

Sonia Teyou (Intern)

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