This is the News in Brief from the United Nations
Ebola treatment centre attacks likely to hamper virus control effort: WHO
Worsening security in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo marked by attacks on Ebola clinics have made it a “given” that the deadly virus will spread, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
It has condemned the “deplorable” targeting of two Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) facilities earlier this week in Katwa and Butembo.
To date, WHO and partners have relied on armed protection from UN peacekeepers from the United Nations Stabilizat ion Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to operate in a region that’s home to more than 100 non-State armed groups.
Here’s WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier:
“In the light of the recent attacks and enhanced discussions with MONUSCO Forces, with local authorities to see how this can best be done so that the safety of the patients, and of course, of the staff is ensured and that everything can be done to get this outbreak under control. But as I mentioned earlier, the deteriorating security situation, is, there’s a likelihood of an increase of Ebola cases. That is definitely a given.”
According to the DRC health authorities, the latest outbreak of Ebola which began on 1 August 2018 has claimed 555 lives.
Thousands continue to flee ISIL’s last stand in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor
To eastern Syria now, where 13,000 people have arrived at a protection camp in just the last week, after fleeing fighting in the last ISIL-held areas in Deir-Ez-Zor governorate.
UN humanitarian coordinator OCHA said that nine in 10 of the arrivals at Al Hol camp in Al Hassakeh governorate were women and children.
It also reported that 84 people – mainly children under five - died either on their way to the settlement or shortly after arriving at the Al Hol camp.
Here’s OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke: “Many of them have arrived exhausted, hungry and sick… Approximately 45,000 people have fled the Hajin and Al-Baghouz area of Deir-ez-Zor and arrived in the camp, that’s since December. Those who are fleeing have told us of a desperate situation for civilians in the area they are fleeing from. It’s affected by hostilities, civilians are being killed and injured on a daily basis, there’s large-scale destruction of civilian infrastructure and shortages of food, medicine and other basic necessities.”
According to aid teams at the camp, 175 children have been hospitalized owing to complications from severe acute malnutrition.
The UN and partners are responding to growing needs at Al Hol camp and surrounding areas by providing life-saving assistance to all new arrivals, along with food, water, shelter, and warm clothes and blankets.
Measles resurgence fuelled by just 10 countries, warns UNICEF
And finally, measles is surging to “alarmingly high levels” around the world with 10 countries accounting for more than 74 per cent of the total, UN Children’s Fund UNICEF has said.
After significant and deadly outbreaks of the disease in Brazil, Madagascar, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen, the UN agency warned that 98 countries reported more cases of measles in 2018 than in 2017.
This has eroded progress against this easily preventable, but extremely contagious disease, and prompted UNICEF Chief Executive Henrietta Fore to issue a “wake-up call” to nations - as she put it - reminding them that a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine exists.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.