Hospital ‘escapees’ show need to explain Ebola risks to DR Congo, says WHO
The escape of three people infected with Ebola virus from a hospital in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is “not unexpected”, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, underlining the need to step up efforts to explain the dangers to affected communities.
Two of the three patients died after leaving an isolation unit in Wangata hospital in Mbandaka city in north-west of the country, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic confirmed.
“It is very unfortunate that people leave the treatment centre, but it is not unexpected. We had this in previous outbreaks. It is only human that people want to be with their loved ones and family want them to be at home in what could be the last moments of life.”
Mr. Jasarevic said that both of the deceased had been given a safe and dignified burial and stressed the importance of communicating the dangers of Ebola to communities.
The latest outbreak of Ebola in DRC where it is endemic has claimed 22 deaths since it began on 8 May.
$280 million urgently needed for life-saving work in Ethiopia — OCHA
Nearly $300 million is needed urgently in Ethiopia to help over 1 million people displaced by conflict and drought, UN aid coordinator OCHA said on Friday.
Jens Laerke from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told journalists in Geneva that needs increased significantly after an uptick in violence last September:
“Many of those who are affected are pastoralists. When they are displaced from where they have grazing opportunities and so on for their livestock that is very disturbing also… both in the immediate, but also in the medium- and longer-term needs that will emanate from that.”
Humanitarian needs have been made worse by “back-to-back droughts”, according to OCHA, which said in a statement that priorities include emergency health and nutrition services, water and sanitation, education and improvements to people’s basic living conditions.
2018 hurricane season set to be ‘near or above normal’, says WMO
This year’s hurricane season in the Atlantic is likely to be “near or above normal”, UN weather experts said on Friday.
Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced the news from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.
“NOAA is predicting a ‘near or above normal’ Atlantic hurricane season, with 10-16 named storms, five to nine hurricanes, of which one to four may develop into major hurricanes.”
According to NOAA a major hurricane has wind speeds of at least 111 miles an hour — nearly 180 kilometres per hour.
Its outlook comes with a 75 per cent accuracy rating for the season, which runs from 1 June to 30 November.
An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
The first storm that’s set to hit the Atlantic region this season already has a name: Alberto.