A WHO expert committee declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration for this outbreak, even though other experts say it has long met the required conditions.
The charity's DRC Ebola-response director, Moussa Sangara, said: "Many people have been anxious about Ebola reaching Goma because it's a major trade city, home to 1.2 million people and many residents move across the border to Rwanda regularly". But for months, health experts have feared a spread into Goma, a major regional hub.
The WHO's worldwide health regulations, drafted in 2005, say that the global emergency label should apply to a situation that is "serious, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond the affected State's national border; and may require immediate global action".
Emergency declarations are issued sparingly.
World Health Organization said insecurity due to conflict in North Kivu and Ituri provinces and tepid global financial support were the main impediments to stopping the Ebola virus. They said at the time that "the cluster of cases in Uganda is not unexpected" and determined that it did not meet the necessary criteria. It is the second-largest outbreak after the 2014 historic epidemic in West Africa that killed more than 11,300 people. Last month, the outbreak spilled across the border for the first time when a family brought the virus into Uganda after attending the burial in Congo of an infected relative.
"The risk of Ebola spread in DRC and the region remains very high, and the risk of spread outside the region remains low", Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of World Health Organization, said during a press conference on Wednesday. They border Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan. Efforts to contain the virus have been hurt by mistrust by wary locals, which has prompted deadly attacks on health workers.
The WHO said a Congolese fisherwoman travelled across the border to sell fish at Mpondwe market on July 11, where she had four vomiting incidents before returning to Congo and dying of Ebola.
"WHO and its partners work tirelessly to ensure that all travelers are screened for Ebola" a tweet from WHO African region said.
Health Minister Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, has said he prefers to focus on the now used vaccine, VSV-EBOV, and has aired concerns that introducing a second vaccine might upset the population and complicate messaging.
According to the report, she did not use the formal border entry during her recent travels, where she would have been screened and cared for by health workers.
So far "no one has been found to be positive of the Ebola virus".
The pastor who brought Ebola to Goma used several fake names to hide his identity on his way to the city, Congolese officials said. We need to work together in solidarity with the DRC to end this outbreak and build a better health system.