Congo's health minister steps down over Ebola response

Mackenzie Bean - Print  | 

The Democratic Republic of Congo's minister of health stepped down July 22 after losing his role as head of the country's Ebola outbreak response, reports Science.

Oly Ilunga Kalenga, MD, PhD, shared his resignation letter to Congo President FĂ©lix Tshisekedi in a July 22 tweet.

"As a result of your decision to oversee the response to the Ebola epidemic, and because I anticipate that this decision will inevitably lead to a predictable outcry, I submit to you my resignation as health minister," Dr. Kalenga wrote in the letter.

On July 20, President Tshisekedi's administration said a team of experts led by Jean Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, PhD, director-general of the Congo's National Institute for Biomedical Research, would now supervise the country's Ebola response. Dr. Kalenga claims the decision to remove him was made July 18 without his knowledge.

The country's outbreak, which is now a public health emergency of international concern, started in August 2018. As of July 21, the World Health Organization has reported 2,592 confirmed and probable Ebola infections, along with 1,743 deaths.

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