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Delays on Ebola = Death

As Ebola spreads to Uganda, WHO continues to delay declaring an
international emergency in the face of a devastating crisis—the WHO, UN,
AU and DRC must do more to end the current outbreak!

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amid a disastrous Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges the World Health
Organization (WHO), United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and DRC
government to cast politics aside and take immediate actions to ensure
the most aggressive response possible in defeating the epidemic,
including declaring an international emergency and utilizing all
available vaccines.

There is a dire situation on the ground in the DRC—and now in Uganda.
Public distrust of outside personnel and support is hindering the
identification and vaccination of Ebola contacts, available vaccine
stockpiles are steadily dwindling and not being used as they should, and
the WHO, UN, AU and DRC actions have so far have proven to be
insufficient in containing and extinguishing the current crisis.

“This outbreak threatens the entire continent and the world—WHO must
declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” said AHF
President Michael Weinstein. “That will allow increased funding,
personnel and resources to be dedicated to a response that is severely
lacking thus far. Inspired and aggressive leadership is also needed at
top levels of the agencies and governments conducting response
efforts—we cannot expect a different result if the same inadequate
measures are continually implemented.”

With over 2,000 cases and nearly 1,400 deaths since last August, the
current Ebola outbreak is killing at a horrifying rate of almost 70%.
And even though individuals in the affected areas are pleading to be
vaccinated, stockpiles of one vaccine are running dangerously low and
confidential sources report that the other is not being used at all due
to disputes within the DRC government.

“There is nothing more critical in this response than the availability
of vaccines that have been proven to work, and it’s incomprehensible
that they are available and not being utilized—especially now that Ebola
has crossed into Uganda,” said AHF Africa Bureau Chief Dr. Penninah
Iutung. “The WHO and the African Union must take the lead and insist
that all available vaccines be used, and the Congolese government must
forget its political in-fighting and ensure that stockpiles are
available immediately to all who need them.”

“We [AHF] lost one of our own doctors in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak in
2014 that killed over 11,000 people—and now our staff and patients in
Uganda are being threatened,” added Dr. Iutung. “It is critical, now
more than ever, that the WHO, UN, AU and DRC do all they can to stop
this outbreak in its tracks. Take more action now – before it’s too
late!”

AHF encourages you to experience the sobering truth behind the 2014
Ebola outbreak in this short documentary
and see the devastation that occurs when outbreak preparedness is not a
top global health priority.

For more information, please contact Ged Kenslea at gedk@aidshealth.org or
(323) 791-5526.

About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
1.1 million people in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.

Contacts

US MEDIA CONTACTS:
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director,
Communications, AHF
+1 323 308 1833 work +1.323.791.5526 mobile
gedk@aidshealth.org

Denys Nazarov, Director of Global Policy &
Communications,
AHF
+1 323 219 1091
dn@aidshealth.org

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