The Ebola outbreak raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where health workers are under attack, is challenging the globe’s capacity to respond. It is also calling into question whether the use of a major weapon intended to address such health crises might be futile in this case.
Despite the gravity of the situation, the North Kivu outbreak hasn’t been declared a public health emergency of international concern — a PHEIC in global health parlance. That fact has frustrated some health security experts, who insist it’s long past time to proclaim an international emergency.
Other experts argue, however, that labeling this outbreak a global health crisis would not help to halt spread of Ebola in the region. They worry that it could even make an already perilous situation worse.