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Congo begins Ebola vaccination amidst recent outbreak in northwest city of Mbandaka

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Following the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus in the northwest city of Mbandaka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization on Wednesday says the country has kicked off Ebola vaccinations to stem an outbreak.

Two people have been reported dead from the recent outbreak. The first death was of a 31-year-old male, detected in the city of Mbandaka, capital of Congo’s Equateur province on April 21.

The second was on Tuesday, marking the central African country’s 14th Ebola outbreak was said to be a female relative of the first case.

The World Health Organization said in a statement that around 200 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine have been shipped to Mbandaka from the eastern city of Goma, with more to be delivered in the coming days.

The stamen further revealed that 233 contacts have been identified and are being monitored and three vaccination teams are on the ground and will focus on reaching all people at high risk.

WHO Africa Director Matshidiso Moeti, said “With effective vaccines at hand and the experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo health workers in Ebola response, we can quickly change the course of this outbreak for the better.”

Ebola is an infectious and frequently fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus (Ebola virus ), whose normal host species is unknown.

Congo has seen 13 previous outbreaks of Ebola, including one in 2018-2020 in the east that killed nearly 2,300 people, the second-highest toll recorded in the history of the virus.

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Malian migrants, including children, die as makeshift Europe-bound boat capsizes in Libya

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Twenty-two Malian migrants including three children, have been killed when their makeshift Europe-bound boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, the United Nations as well as the Malian government have confirmed on Wednesday.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), also confirmed that 61 other migrants were rescued and taken to a detention centre in Libya.

The Ministry of Malians Abroad, in a statement, said the people who died were part of a group of 83 mostly Malian nationals who were stuck on a distressed vessel since June 22.

The IOM, in statement by its spokeswoman Safa Msehli, said the rescued victims were brought back to shore with the help of the Libyan coastguard after nine days at sea, adding that the “cause of death for the 22 people was drowning and dehydration.”

Msehli also said some of the survivors were in very poor health and had to be taken to hospital by the IOM.

“The remaining migrants were taken to al-Maya detention centre” in Libya, she said.

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Monkeypox: WHO records over 6,000 cases in 58 countries in recent outbreak

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According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 58 countries in the current outbreak.

The United Nations agency is yet to decide declaring the outbreak a global health emergency, the WHO’s highest level of alert.

Its committee reconvene a meeting in July 18 to decide or sooner.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference from Geneva.

Monkeypox, a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, has also penetrated Europe and North America in its recent spread with more than 100 cases recorded outside Africa.

The UN committee meeting in June 27 decided that the disease was not yet a health emergency. There have recently been reported cases in other African countries like Nigeria and Morocco.

“I continue to be concerned by the scale and spread of the virus across the world,” Tedros said, adding that a lack of testing meant that there were likely many more cases going unreported.

Until recently, monkeypox had been a disease that was once largely restricted to Africa, but has gradually penetrating Europe and North America in its recent outbreak.

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