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Philippines and South Sudan watching Ebola in Congo, minister arrested for mismanaging Ebola money

Christian Fernsby |
The Philippine goverrnment is monitoring the outbreak of Ebola virus in Congo where they have their workers.

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said the government would not yet ban the deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to Congo.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Ebola a public emergency concern, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

Other government agencies monitoring the Ebola epidemic are the Bureau of Quarantine, Bureau of Immigration and Civil Aeronautics Board.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is helping South Sudan develop a national health security plan to boost the country's response to disease outbreaks and public health threats, an official said on Monday.

Argata Guracha, WHO's head of Health Emergencies Program in South Sudan, said the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), a multisectoral strategy spearheaded by the WHO is aimed at providing guidelines to countries to enable them to boost their health systems and improve response to public health emergencies.

"The plan will guide the country on the steps to be taken. What is available and what needs to be done so that the country will be better prepared to prevent and respond to outbreaks and emergencies," said Guracha in Juba.

Police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have arrested the former health minister, Oly Ilunga Kalenga, for allegedly mismanaging $4.3 million in Ebola response money. The 14 September arrest came on the same day that an unprecedented high-level delegation of U.S. government health officials met with the DRC’s president and other leaders in Kinshasa to discuss the 13-month-old Ebola outbreak, which is the second largest in history.

There’s no obvious link between the two events, but worries have steadily increased over the past few weeks that shortfalls in funding could hamper the country’s efforts to end the outbreak, which has killed two-thirds of the 3100 people who have developed the disease.

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