The emergency committee convened in the aftermath of findings that a family with several members sick with Ebola had traveled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Uganda, where two died, found for the third time that the 11-month outbreak still does not meet its criteria for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, even though, amid a shortfall of international funding, it has now crossed a border into one of nine neighboring countries. This decision, as they say, has left more questions than answers, including, if this is not the time to declare a PHEIC, what is?
Time is running out to stop an Ebola epidemic – Continued violence and political unrest that have spurred mass migration while sowing distrust of health authorities, sparse resources and instability that will challenge responses in neighboring nations are among the reasons that a powerful, coordinated and well-funded response to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo is needed now, this New York TImes editorial notes, adding that the emergency committee’s reasoning for once again failing to declare a PHEIC remain unclear.
The politics of a PHEIC – Among the committee’s reasons for not declaring a PHEIC, this Lancet editorial notes, were the potential economic impacts of a declaration that could prompt proposals for travel and trade bans. That reasoning is both inappropriate and wrong, the authors write.