Ebola Virus Disease

Preparedness and Response in Priority Eastern and Southern Africa Countries 2018–2020


Report from the ESARO EVD Stocktake Exercise.

Ebola virus disease (EVD) was first reported in 1976 in present day South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with the tenth EVD outbreak in DRC, declared on 1 August 2018, proving to be the country’s longest outbreak – lasting almost two years – and the second largest outbreak in the world, after the 2014-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa. It was also the first to be reported in an active conflict area.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) conducted an assessment which identified neighbouring countries at risk, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda and categorized them as Priority 1 countries. Angola, Central African Republic, Congo, the United Republic of Tanzania, and Zambia were designated Priority 2 countries.

In May 2020, after almost 18 months of implementing EVD preparedness activities in the four countries, UNICEF Country Offices and the Regional Office agreed to review and document achievements, challenges, lessons learned and best practices to inform future preparedness for EVD and other public health emergencies. This report is a collation of presentations from the EVD stocktake webinar, reports and feedback from the ESARO EVD cross sectoral response team, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi country teams over the 18-month period.

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