By Andrew Wasike
NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – In a major breakthrough, doctors in DR Congo said Tuesday that Ebola is now “curable” after two patients fully recovered following treatment with prototype drugs.
Jean-Jacques Muyembe, director of Congo’s National Institute for Biomedical Research, said even though DRC’s most recent outbreak has killed more than 1,900 people since it began last August, the disease is no longer regarded as incurable.
“Today, we took a new step,” Muyembe told a press conference.
Muyembe noted that the two patients had successfully recovered and returned to their villages.
He said patients had a 90% survival rate with the two new drugs — mAb114, developed by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and REGN-EB3, made by U.S.-based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals — and they will be used to treat people all over DRC but warned that the disease is still deadly if not treated in its early stages.
In a statement Tuesday, the World Health Organization acknowledged the success of the drugs, saying “these are the only drugs that future patients will be treated with”.
By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS – The European Union has fully mobilized the €6 billion ($6.65 billion) operational budget for refugees in Turkey, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.
So far, €2.7 billion has been disbursed from the financial aid agreed by the EU-Turkey statement in 2016 and this number is expected to grow to €3 billion by the end of this year and up to €4 billion by 2020. The full amount is expected to be paid by 2025 at the latest.
Turkey is the largest host country for Syrian refugees and provides international protection to more than 3.5 million people who fled the neighboring country. The EU facility supports refugees and host communities by financing projects in education, healthcare, improving the infrastructure and developing the economy.
Currently, 95 EU-funded projects are benefiting 1.7 million refugees, including 500,000 children.
Negotiations are still ongoing for a new financial envelop for Syrian refugees in Turkey for the period after 2025. Last week, Commissioners Margaritis Schinas, in charge of promoting the European Way of Life, and Ylva Johansson, tasked with the Home Affairs portfolio, traveled to Turkey to discuss migration with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.