Congo's Ebola outbreak surpasses 900 cases: 3 updates

Doctors Without Borders hampered by violence in responding to Ebola in Congo

Doctors Without Borders hampered by violence in responding to Ebola in Congo

The medical charity Medicines Sans Frontiers says the battle to contain the world's second largest EBOLA outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being lost.

Two of the medical aid group's facilities at the focal point of the epidemic were recently attacked by unidentified assailants.

Tackling Ebola in DR Congo was always going to be a huge challenge - decades of conflict mean health services are weak or non-existent, different communities fear one another, and they fear the security services.

The use of police and the military to force communities to comply with Ebola care and prevention measures has been condemned by one of the organisations at the forefront of efforts to bring the current outbreak under control.

To date, there have been more than 30 incidents targeted against the ongoing Ebola response efforts, adds Liu, who cites the use of force to administer treatment and vaccines as part of the problem. We have worries especially that right now we are painting the Ebola epidemic as a security emergency, this was said yesterday in the press conference of the Ministry of Health of the DRC.

According to a new report, there are more than 900 cases of Ebola in the Congo, causing lots of uncertainty in the region as health officials sluggishly meet people's needs despite newer treatment options that should be available across the nation, according to AXIOS.

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A mother of a child, suspected of dying from Ebola, cries outside a hospital during the funeral in Beni, North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo, December 17, 2018. She included her own organization among those that had fallen short and urged medical teams to treat Ebola patients "as humans and not as a biothreat".

MSF's International President Joanne Liu, meanwhile, described the outbreak's "indicators" as abnormal.

The second largest Ebola outbreak in history is now taking place in the Democratic Republic of Congo. "[Villagers] see their relatives sprayed with chlorine and wrapped in plastic bags, buried without ceremony".

"We have seen outbreaks end in areas where the communities have become engaged, from health workers to religious leaders to youth groups", Jasarevic said.

It highlighted that more than 40% of deaths are occurring in communities rather than in Ebola treatment centres.

Doctors Without Borders was insisting on security before it returned to its damaged facilities, Ilunga said. "Then they see their possessions burned", she said. "Thirty-five percent of people are not known for the chain of transmission, which means we don't know where they got it from", the global president of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) charity said during a press conference on Thursday.

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