World Health Organization calls for more funds to fight DRC Ebola outbreak

Uganda has experienced the first cross-border case of the deadly virus since an outbreak started in neighboring Congo last year

READ MORETwo dead as'truly frightening Ebola spreads to Uganda

"Although the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and now Uganda was not declared an worldwide emergency today, the spread of Ebola to Uganda is a clear signal that the global community must reset and redouble its efforts to work with the Congolese people and stop the spread of the disease here in the DRC".

"This is a sobering development that everyone has been working to avoid and highlights the complexity of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo", Robert Redfield, director of the country's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a statement. "The overall risk at worldwide level remains low", it said.

To be declared a global emergency, an outbreak must constitute a risk to other countries and require a coordinated worldwide response, according to the WHO.

A panel of 13 independent medical experts on the WHO's Emergency Committee was asked to evaluate the latest evidence and whether to ratchet up the designation of it as posing worldwide concern.

This outbreak threatens the entire continent and the worldWHO must declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, said AHF President Michael Weinstein.

Addressing the global community, he added, "Step up funding".

This position has been undermined by the fact that the outbreak has occurred near the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and South Sudan, causing concern that the virus is likely to spread into neighboring countries.

A Congolese woman - who is married to a Ugandan - as well as her mother, three children and their nanny had travelled to DRC to care for her ill father, who later died of Ebola. On average, half of the people who contract Ebola die as a result of the disease.

"We have a huge problem with the community which does not trust the medical community", said Antoine Gauge, a worker with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) in Goma, who spoke to CTV News via Facetime.

Health workers in this outbreak now have the benefit of an experimental but effective Ebola vaccine that is being widely used, with more than 130,000 doses distributed.

Health workers and people who came into contact with those who had Ebola will get the injection.

That changed this week with confirmation that Ebola had reached western Uganda, where it has claimed two lives so far. Yet early detection of these individual cases can prove crucial to outbreak prevention. Three members of the family who brought the virus into Uganda have died after attending the burial of an infected relative, a popular pastor, in Congo. However it the virus was now entrenched in rural areas including Mabalako, he said.

Contingency plans had always been put in place in Uganda for possible imported Ebola cases, according to WHO. Travellers from Congo have also brought Ebola to Uganda, which has now recorded two deaths with some 50 people being followed for possible Ebola infection.

Health officials are still anxious about persistent delays in detecting cases and the many Ebola deaths in the community, which raise the risk virus spread.

"This should have been done by the health office, the district health office", said Moses Mugisa, clerk of the border town of Mpondwe-Lhubiriha, who eventually found transport for the corpse.

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