DR Congo ex-health minister arrested over Ebola funds

Oly Ilunga
Oly Ilunga denies the accusation that he mismanaged funds meant to be used to fight the Ebola epidemic

Police in the Democratic Republic of Congo have arrested a former health minister for allegedly mismanaging funds allocated for the Ebola epidemic.

Oly Ilunga resigned as health minister in July after being stripped of responsibility for the fight against Ebola.

Police said they detained him because they had information that he intended to evade legal proceedings and leave the country.

He denies any wrongdoing.

In his July resignation letter, Dr Ilunga criticised the World Health Organization’s plan to use an unlicensed vaccine against Ebola.

There was a shortage in supply of the previous vaccine and health experts argued another vaccine, which had not been widely tested, should be used.

Dr Ilunga said the previous vaccine was the only one with clinically proven effectiveness.

He also criticised the decision to remove him as head of the Ebola response team, and replace him by a committee which he said had interfered with his work.

Foreign donors have provided more than $150m (£120m) to combat Ebola in Dr Congo where more than 2,000 people have died since the start of the current outbreak.

What is Ebola?

Ebola virus

  • Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat
  • It progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding
  • People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola
  • Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure

Source: bbc.co.uk

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