The announcement comes as neighboring Uganda scrambles to curb an unrelated outbreak declared last week.
With only one confirmed case, the recently ended outbreak was one of the least catastrophic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
An earlier outbreak, the country’s 14th in which there were four confirmed cases and five deaths, was declared over on July 4 this year.
Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been caused by the Zaire ebolavirus, one of six species in the genus Ebola.
Uganda is battling a rapidly evolving outbreak of the Sudan Ebolavirus, with 36 cases (18 confirmed and 18 probable) and 23 deaths reported as of September 25.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, improving preparedness for and response to Ebola outbreaks is paying off.
Just a few days after the outbreak was declared in North Kivu, health authorities launched a vaccination campaign using the ring strategy.
More than 500 people were vaccinated, including 350 contacts, contacts of contacts, and frontline workers.
Nearly all of the 182 people who had come into contact with the initial case were monitored for 21 days and released once they were confirmed not to be at high risk.
Analysis of samples taken from the confirmed case showed that the outbreak was genetically linked to the 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, the longest and largest in the country.
Although the current outbreak in North Kivu has been declared over, health authorities maintain vigilance measures and are ready to respond to any outbreak.
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo has accumulated impressive experience in controlling the virus and we can use the lessons learned to push back the Ebola outbreak in Uganda,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director for Africa at the World Health Organization.
“While an effective vaccine for Sudan Ebolavirus is not yet available, this is only a tool.
We can and have controlled Ebola with strong contact tracing, screening, case isolation and good supportive care.” In Uganda, the Ebola virus outbreak in Sudan has now affected three districts: Mubende, Kyegegwa and Kassanda across 120 kilometres.
To date, 399 contacts have been identified and are being monitored as the search continues to identify others who may be at risk.
Uganda has a large testing capacity for Ebola, with 5,000 tests currently available for use.
There are 30 people on treatment, 13 of whom have been confirmed to have Ebola and 17 of whom are suspected of having the disease.
While there is no specific treatment for Sudan ebolavirus, those who are ill receive supportive care, significantly improving their prognosis.
An isolation unit has been established at the Mubende Regional Referral Hospital and preparations are underway for an additional Ebola Treatment Unit. WHO has also deployed three viral haemorrhagic fever kits with medical supplies, medicines and personal protective equipment.
More kits will be implemented as needed.
WHO is supporting Uganda to improve preparedness in health districts that have not reported any Ebola cases by building on previous preparedness efforts and providing refresher training for clinicians on surveillance, detection and case management.
The Organization is strengthening infection prevention and control in health facilities and is supporting simulation exercises in high-risk districts.
In addition, WHO is helping rapid response teams in neighboring countries to strengthen case investigation, contact tracing and working with communities, as well as pre-positioning of critical medical equipment and supplies, including personal protection, in high-risk countries.
Through its Contingency Fund for Emergencies, WHO provides US$500,000 to support Ebola control efforts in Uganda and another US$300,000 from its preparedness program to support preparedness activities in neighboring countries.