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Response to Ebola in Congo hampered by violence, says group

10 March 2019

The Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the support of WHO and partners, carried out a vaccination campaign in high-risk populations against Ebola virus disease in affected health zones.

MSF, which is active across DRC, is considering whether to resume activities in the two areas, but is intent on avoiding the use of security personnel on site or in rounding up patients, Liu said.

"While the causes of these acts are not all the same, it is clear that various political, social and economic grievances are increasingly crystallising around the response", MSF said in a press release today. It does not work, if the police and the army people wanted to force you to adhere to health regulations. "And, that they want to be in our center because they believe that is going to be the best way to fight Ebola". While MSF does not know the motives or identities of the attackers, these incidents follow an escalation of tensions around the Ebola response. And it urged even wider use of the vaccine, which has been administered to more than 86,000 people in the DRC.

The sick were not suits in the Ebola centers, "away from their families and surrounded by people in space", said Liu. We think, as physicians, that it is an epidemic, an infectious disease issue and that we need to treat patients and not an enemy of the nation.

It emerged in eastern North Kivu province in August and later spread to neighbouring Ituri province, both of which are wracked by inter-communal violence and unrest. The new illnesses lift the overall outbreak total to 913, which includes 848 confirmed and 65 probable cases.

Also in the update, the health ministry pushed back on and clarified some perceptions of the outbreak.

Involvement of security and police forces merely deepened suspicions that Ebola was being used as a political tool, she said.

Doctors Without Borders hampered by violence in responding to Ebola in Congo
Ebola Epidemic in DRC Out of Control as Death Toll Rises – MSF

An attack by gunmen on one of the centres last week in Butembo forced its temporary closure, but the health ministry said on Monday that the centre would reopen. "It is unacceptable for health workers to be threatened and assaulted in the course of their work", the officials said.

The organisation has had to pulls it workers out of two treatment centers torched by angry local residents.

MSF was insisting on security before it returned to its damaged facilities, she said.

World Health Organization officials, including Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, arrived in Kinshasa today, where Kalenga received them and thanked them for their field work, especially their role in rehabilitating ETCs in Katwa and Butembo that were damaged in violent attacks.

Liu said there were still signs the outbreak - the second worst ever - was not being brought under control.

The Ebola response must take a new turn. At the epicenter of the epidemic, in Katwa and Butembo, 43% of patients in the last three weeks were still being infected without known links to other cases.

Response to Ebola in Congo hampered by violence, says group