German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for health workers to be given unimpeded access to treatment centres in the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to stop the spread of what's become the second-deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history, during at a CDU/CSU parliamentary group congress on strengthening global health in Berlin on Wednesday.
''I would like to appeal once more to all those... Еще responsible in the region so that the supporting staff are really given unimpeded access, and this doesn't expand into an even bigger epidemic,'' she said, while acknowledging that this was ''easier said than done'' given the violence in the region.
According to the World Health Organisation, there have been 119 documented attacks by militants on health centres in the Congo since January. Over 1000 deaths from the highly contagious disease have been recorded since the most recent epidemic began last August.
Merkel also urged people not to dismiss the impact of tropical diseases and diseases associated with poverty, which affect over one million people world-wide.
''One can't say that these so-called neglected tropical diseases are negligible illnesses,'' she stated, adding ''Malaria alone still kills about 250,000 children each year in Africa. And when one knows what a Malaria net costs, and thinks about the fact they're not being provided, then it's clear that we really should act wherever we can.»
The Chancellor visited West Africa last week, pledging millions towards development projects in the G5 Sahel countries.