Delegate: Aliana Hermann-Campana
School: Williamston High School
The issue of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is multifaceted and therefore the response to outbreaks should be as well. As there is no proven drug, cure, or vaccine for Ebola, the goal of treatment methods is to combat symptoms and increase the victim’s chance of surviving. While there is important work that can be done in that area, if people are not trusting of the authorities then all of that work becomes irrelevant. The Ebola outbreak in 2014 located in West Africa prompted a response from the UN that had five major points that addressed all of these issues in both a long term and short term response to the virus. Those five points were (1) Stop the outbreak, (2) Treat the Infected, (3) Ensure essential services, (4) Preserve Stability, and (5) Prevent further outbreaks. The goal of zero cases of Ebola is far from being reached despite efforts from the entire UN system, the governments of affected countries, partners, and NGOs. As of July 17, 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). There are 3000 reported cases of Ebola in the DRC, making the outbreak second only to the one in 2014. The potential for contamination across borders raises the urgency of the Ebola issue.
Kuwait is ready and able to provide aid and assistance to the DRC and other areas impacted by the virus. On July 1, 2014 Kuwait donated $5,000,000 USD to WHO’s Ebola response to the outbreak in West Africa. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Kuwait’s past interests in Ebola outbreaks has been mostly financial support for organizations through WHO. Kuwait has helped to fund WHO’s response, which includes deploying 2013 technical experts, construction of treatment centers, and education on the Ebola virus.
Kuwait proposes that to contain and resolve the current Ebola outbreak in the DRC, the international community should continue to provide support for the government where it is lacking and establishing a more secure means of providing treatment and support in an area that has a population that is distrustful of local authorities. Educational services should be provided to the general public to help increase the understanding of the impact of the virus and its method of transmission, which would help reduce the virus’ means of infection through cultural practices such as burial customs. Efforts need to be redoubled to prevent cross-border contamination of the virus. Kuwait recommends looking to the past efforts of the UN and WHO during the 2014 outbreak as a model because of the success with preventing further spread of Ebola. In addition to the past efforts that succeeded, funding should go to finding and establishing a vaccine or cure to create a long term solution for the Ebola virus.
- Aliana Hermann-Campana