L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
June 2018

Solidarity with Populations Affected by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
On 8 May 2018, an outbreak of Ebola was announced in Equateur Province in the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In response to this health crisis, the State Council of Geneva awarded 200,000 Swiss francs in emergency assistance to Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland (MSF) for its vaccination activities in the DRC. Through this grant, the Republic and State of Geneva wish to show its solidarity with the populations affected by the virus, which has a fatality rate of 50%.

MSF, with doctors from the Geneva University Hospitals sent to the field, is working closely with the DRC Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization to administer the Ebola Zaïre V920 vaccine as a supplementary measure to control the epidemic. Since the vaccine is still experimental, it is being applied using a strict protocol, supervised by the ethics committees of MSF and the Congolese Government.

Participants, all of whom are volunteers, receive thorough information before being vaccinated, as well as rigorous check-ups afterward. Its deployment follows a strategy known as ring vaccination, in which the vaccine is administered to people in direct contact with infected individuals, the next line of contacts, and first line responders.

As of 17 June 1436 people in the Bikoro and Iboko/Itipo health zones have benefited from the vaccine. No new cases of Ebola have been reported since 11 June, but hundreds of contacts are still being monitored. Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 38 confirmed cases of the virus and 28 deaths.

Text : State of Geneva / MSF