Uganda Prepares to Fight Off Ebola Along DRC Border

Maricruz Casares
Noviembre 13, 2018

The health ministry has said teams responding to the Ebola outbreak are attacked three or four times a week on average, a level of violence unseen in the country's nine previous outbreaks of the virus.

Since the outbreak began in August, there have been 308 cases and 191 deaths, about half of which have been in Beni, which has a population of around 800,000. "Two of our colleagues in the Rapid Response Medical Unit even lost their lives in an attack".

The UN's Department of Peacekeeping on Friday called on armed groups active in the region not to hinder efforts to fight the disease.

Ghebreyesus and Lacroix saw conditions on the ground for themselves, along with Minister of Health Oly Kalenga, and they met local officials, health workers, civil society leaders, and peacekeepers.

So far a total of 298 cases of hemorrhagic fever have been reported in the region by health ministry which includes 263 confirmed and 35 probable cases, since the declaration of this tenth Ebola epidemic in the DRC since 1976, says BBC.

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"No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are now experiencing", said Kalenga.

Armed groups vying for control of Congo's mineral-rich east have staged regular attacks in Congo's Ituri and North Kivu provinces, complicating the response by health officials who are also meeting community resistance.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals and is estimated by the World Health Organization to have a 50-percent fatality rate.

"The current epidemic is the worst in the history of DRC", Jessica Ilunga, a spokeswoman for the ministry told Reuters. Because when operations are stopped, there is always a backload of vaccinations, or contact tracing.

"At this point we are not seeing cases spread across any incredibly large geographic area", the official said, adding that most cases were in the city of Beni and increasingly in nearby Butembo.

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