Attack on Ebola treatment centre in DRC kills one

Maricruz Casares
Марта 11, 2019

The health worker was shot and being treated in hospital. Congo's health ministry in a statement said forces had surrounded the center after being tipped to a possible assault, "saving many lives".

"Shooting started at about six in the morning (0400 GMT) and resumed 30 minutes later with resistance from the army and the police", Butembo mayor Sylvain Kanyamanda Mbusa told AFP of the latest attack.

There are dozens of armed groups active in this region of Congo, though health workers have been allowed work in the area after careful negotiations, according to the AP. To conquer Ebola, we must strike a delicate balance between providing accessible care, maintaining the neutrality of the response, and protecting patients and staff from attacks by armed groups.

In addition, this is the region's first outbreak of Ebola and for those unfamiliar with the virus, at first it doesn't seem too different from familiar diseases like malaria or typhoid fever.

On Thursday, the Doctors Without Borders president warned that Ebola containment efforts face a "climate of deepening community mistrust" seven months after the outbreak was declared, and the use of security forces complicates efforts.

That hesitance, and sometimes outright evasion, by some community members has deeply complicated efforts to track contacts of infected people and carry out vaccinations.

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Armed assailants attack Ebola treatment centre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, killing a policeman before being repelled by security forces, the local mayor says.

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To conquer Ebola, "we must strike a delicate balance between providing accessible care, maintaining the neutrality of the response and protecting patients and staff from attacks by armed groups", the World Health Organization chief said on Saturday. Doctors Without Borders suspended its operations there.

More than 850 Ebola cases have been confirmed since August 1, including 578 deaths. The Ebola virus has already killed more than 500 people in the eastern part of the country since a year ago.

For those trying to contain the outbreak, the attacks are occurring in the worst possible locations.

The two treatment-center attacks occurred in the epicenter of the outbreak, where more than 86 percent of new cases have been diagnosed over the past three weeks, officials said. "We are committed to ending the outbreak, and we are committed to improving the health of the people of DRC", he concluded.

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