The World Health Organisation (WHO), has said that the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can declare the country Ebola-free if there are no more recorded cases of the disease by Sunday.

In a statement posted on the WHOs website, the Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that they were nearing the end of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC Congo.

“We’re not there yet, and we remain on full response mode. We’re continuing to investigate alerts and to test samples. This would not have been possible without the incredible health workers who have put themselves at risk for more than 18 months to stop this outbreak. Just as health workers are putting themselves in danger to save lives from COVID-19, health workers in DRC faced the double threat of fighting a deadly virus. They face the double threat of fighting a deadly virus in one of the world’s most dangerous and unstable regions – exposing themselves to Ebola and bullets,’’ he said.

As the world marks World Health Day, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said they are paying tribute to the contribution of all health workers, “especially nurses and midwives.”

“Nurses and midwives are the backbones of every health system. They’re there from the first moments of life to the last. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are publishing our first report on the state of the world’s nursing, which highlights gaps and makes recommendations for all countries.”

“One of the lessons I hope the world learns from COVID-19 is that we must invest in health workers – not only to protect lives but also to protect livelihoods,’’ Dr Ghebreyesus added.

An update from an earlier post on Ebola said there has been no new cases recorded since February 17, 2020.

“However, because there is still a risk of re-emergence of Ebola, it is critical to maintaining surveillance and response operations until and after the end of the outbreak declaration. This is as outlined in the WHO recommended criteria for declaring the end of the Ebola outbreak.”

“Unfortunately, the response faces increasing limitations that could result in delayed detection and control of flare-ups. These limitations include a funding shortfall, ongoing insecurity and lack of access to some areas, and limited staffing and resources amidst other local and global emergencies,” the statement added.