ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 18, 2018


Attack on civilians threatens Ebola response in DRC

27 September 2018, 11:43 | Melissa Porter

Ebola treatment unit

Ebola treatment unit

Local sources say the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist militant group active in the area since the 1990s, was behind the attack, but this has not been confirmed. He said that Beni was the base for the agency's base for the "entire operation". "Do not let these tragic incidents divide us", he said. "Our operations are in effect suspended", he added.

Being on lockdown there, even for a few days, prevents health workers from the crucial work of tracing people who may have come into contact with Ebola, Salama warned.

This points to an increasingly worrisome security situation across the country.

Ebola's devastating power was proved during a harrowing 30-month period between 2014 and 2016 when it swept across West Africa, killing more than 11,000 and infecting 28,000.

Social media reaction to the outbreak was also adding to a "range of conspiracy theories", Dr Salama said, adding that people have been "actively fleeing" health-workers, including in places where there have been a large number of cases in recent weeks.

At least 100 people have died in the outbreak, out of 150 cases in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Ebola's symptoms include high fever and vomiting, which make it hard to treat, because it resembles many other illnesses in its early stages.


A previous outbreak in a remote part of northwestern part of the country near the Congo River was stamped out after a massive response, yet the ongoing outbreak was discovered a week later, at the start of August.

In a tweet posted Monday, Dr. Peter Salama, WHO deputy director-general of emergency preparedness and response, stated that a case in Tchioma, an area of Congo that borders Uganda, "raises concern about further spread".

"This has the potential to spiral", Salama said.

Asked whether the increasing violence may force World Health Organization to leave the area, Dr Salama said that there were "no plans" to do so and that only a "very significant presence" of the United Nations and its partners could stop the disease.

"We will not yet consider the need to evacuate but we are developing a range of contingency plans to see where our staff are best located", he said.

The violence "will have a considerable impact on the whole response to Ebola", the public health official said.



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