DR Congo health minister resigns to protest handling of Ebola outbreak

DR Congo health minister resigns to protest handling of Ebola outbreak

I hereby submit my resignation as health minister.

He additionally condemned "strong stress exercised in recent months" to make use of a new Ebola vaccine advocated by some aid companies and donors.

It is is the latest outbreak - the second-largest ever- and is affecting two provinces in the country, North Kivu and Ituri.

Wariness of outsiders has at times hampered the efforts of health workers trying to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 1,700 people.

Barbados is not waiting for a case of ebola locally to update its ebola plan, especially having recently granted visa waivers to 10 African countries.

Though the disease has yet to spread beyond the DRC, its risk of doing so is high, especially as cases have begun to crop up in Goma, near the border with Rwanda. The town sits on the Rwandan border.

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The disease has killed more than 1,700 and has been declared an worldwide health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Delivering a statement in Parliament this afternoon, Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, explained that the declaration signals that there is an extraordinary event which has been determined, to constitute a public health risk to other States through the global spread of disease; and to potentially require a coordinated worldwide response.

It also affected Nigeria when a passenger from Liberia "imported" the disease into the country.

Nevertheless, everybody isn't vaccinated - only those that come into direct contact with an Ebola-affected person, and individuals who come into contact with them.

"There should be no requirement of certificates of Ebola vaccination for any movement across borders or for issuance of visas, as there is now no licensed vaccine against Ebola", the joint statement read.

The AU, which had previously deployed the AVoHC in West Africa to respond to the outbreak back in 2014 to 2015, said that the AVoHC "will be very useful in the current outbreak".

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