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13 november

Press Release Russia’s contribution to the fight against the Ebola virus

Photo: EpiVakEbola vaccine created and registered in Russia to fight against Ebola virus

13.11.19

Russia is watching with concern an Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the death toll from the disease has already reached 2,192. Although the rate of Ebola infections appears to be slowing somewhat, on October 18 of this year the WHO Committee, which monitors this issue, announced that the Ebola outbreak is still considered an emergency that requires an immediate response.

Given the difficult epidemiological situation in this African country, and in a move to grant the request of President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi, on September 28, the Russian Government issued a directive to assist the Democratic Republic of the Congo in its efforts to fight Ebola. For this purpose, it is planned to allocate 398.5 million roubles from the budget in 2019 and 2020.

The practical aspects of future cooperation were discussed during a meeting with Head of Rospotrebnadzor [the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare] Anna Popova and Minister of Health of the DR Congo Eteni Longondo at the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit on October 23, 2019.

First, there are plans to train 140 Congolese specialists, including 20 specialists to be trained in Russia, in the fields of epidemiology, microbiology, molecular diagnostics and biological security; deliver two Russian-made mobile laboratories to the Equateur Province in the DRC, and teach local staff how to use them; supply modern test systems and medicines to the DR Congo; and deliver 5,000 doses of the EpiVakEbola vaccine that is registered in Russia, as well as cholera, plague and measles vaccines to this African country. As soon as these measures are successfully implemented, Russia plans to draft proposals for further cooperation.

The Agreement Between Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Public Health of the DR Congo on Cooperation in the Field of Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, which was signed at the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on October 23-24 this year, serves as the legal framework for cooperation between the two countries in healthcare.

It is not the first time when Russia helps an African country to fight with the Ebola virus. In August 2014 in response to the official request from the Guinean leadership, Russia sent a group of specialists and two lab modules of a mobile complex of specialised anti-epidemic teams by an aircraft of its Emergencies Ministry

The RUSAL [“Russian Aluminium”] ensured the deployment of a field hospital for 200 patients donated by Russia and organised and funded the training of qualified military medical personnel for its operation. During the epidemic, the hospital rendered free medical aid to over 4,500 people. On February 15, 2016, Russia presented Ebola vaccine in Geneva to World Health Organisation which has been helping thousands of sick people in Africa, particularly in Guinea and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Russia is looking forward to continuing our productive partnership with African countries, aiming to defeat the Ebola virus for good and improve the overall epidemiological situation.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana