Attacks against Congo's Ebola treatment centers threaten gains

17 Mars, 2019, 03:08 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Health workers inside the

Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and DRC Ministry of Health, Dr Oly meet with widows who lost their husbands to conflict during a visit to an Ebola treatment centre in Butembo, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Saturday March 9, 2019.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged that any of the challenges that lie ahead could undo the gains achieved so far in controlling the spread of the Ebola virus.

He said transmission of the Ebola virus has been stopped in Beni, Mangina, Komanda, and Oicha in North Kivu province. "Otherwise we will appear as if we are preventing Ebola getting into other countries and we don't care about the demands of the community".

Tedros, who had just returned from the outbreak zone, said local people were despairing, and rightly wondered why the world was so exercised by Ebola and cared so little about other problems, including cholera and malaria.

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CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said the Democratic Republic of Congo's ongoing Ebola outbreak may not be contained for another year, according to STAT. Since January, it said the number of new cases reported every week has dropped by half from an average of 50 cases to 25.

"I would love to see this outbreak end in six months, like my friend Tedros continues to hope for", Dr. Redfield said.

He warned that the areas of Butembo and Katwa remained Ebola hotspots and that insecurity posed a constant threat to efforts to contain the disease. Armed assailants again attacked an Ebola treatment center in the heart of eastern Congo's deadly outbreak on Saturday, with one police officer killed and health workers injured. The bodies of victims are highly contagious, and the aid group said that figure shows community mistrust is still widespread.

He said the WHO would not leave when the outbreak ended, but would help the government to build stronger health services. However, he added World Health Organization is prepared for any eventuality, and if the goal is missed, the agency will continue its work in the region for as long as it takes to end the Ebola epidemic.

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