Congo: Cuvette-Ouest officials accuse Brazzaville of inaction on Ebola

BRAZZAVILLE, 11 March (IRIN) - In a declaration issued on Thursday, parliamentarians of the Ebola-affected Cuvette-Ouest Region of the Republic of Congo (ROC) accused the Brazzaville government of insufficient action to protect the region's residents from the highly contagious and often-lethal haemorrhagic virus.
The statement followed a delay in the deployment of a mission of parliamentarians and regional government representatives. "It is not normal that a mission of such importance not be quickly dispatched. It is indicative of an intolerable negligence on the part of the government," said one deputy from Mbomo District.

ROC Health Minister Alain Moke, however, disagreed. "Since the declaration of the epidemic in the region, the government has not relented in deploying major amounts of assistance to the affected populations. We had thought that the first priority was to send experts and food aid to the region. It is unfortunate that this was misunderstood by these officials," he said. The government delegation finally left for the Cuvette-Ouest Region on Sunday.

By 8 March, 115 probable cases of Ebola virus were reported in the ROC, with the death toll rising to 97, according to the World Health Organisation - all in the districts of Kelle and Mbomo of Cuvette-Ouest Region.


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