DRC Health Chief Resigns Amid Ebola Fracas

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s health minister, Oly Olunga, has resigned after President Felix Tshisekedi removed him as head of the response to the country's Ebola response.

In a year-long outbreak that has killed over 1,700 people, some experts welcomed the change, Science reports.

The move means a second, WHO-backed Ebola vaccine that Olunga opposed could be deployed after all, Reuters reports. Olunga claimed that “unnamed parties” hid plans to roll out the vaccine,

In his resignation, Olunga railed against the “prejudicial cacophony” of the response, which will now be led by Jean-Jacques Muyembe, one of the researchers who discovered Ebola in 1976.

As a political appointee of former president Joseph Kabila, Olunga’s departure may have been inevitable, observes Crawford Kilian in H5N1. But Olunga had experience handling outbreaks effectively—and while Muyembe has “great respect and prestige,” questions remain about whether his team can run a smooth response.

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