24 August 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: Health Minister Confirms Ebola Deaths in Congo

Photo: Vanguard
A doctor preparing to treat patients diagnosed with Ebola.

Washington, DC — Dr. Félix Kabange Numbi, health minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said on television Sunday that two deaths among a dozen suspected Ebola patients were due to Ebola.

At least 70 people are reported to have died of a hemmoraghic fever in northwestern Congo, but on Thursday the World Health Organization said the disease was not Ebola.

There is no known relation between the confirmed Ebola deaths in DRC and the devastating epidemic in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The virus has struck thousands there and caused health systems to collapse. None of the affected countries has enough protective equipment, such as gloves, to protect health workers, who have died in large numbers in a region where doctors and nurses already were scarce.

Nevertheless, in all three countries, both trained health professionals and volunteers have continued working at great cost to themselves. The few international organizations that were engaged from the beginning of the outbreak and have scaled up their support - such as [msf] - say they have large numbers of local volunteers but not nearly enough supplies, treatment centers or international expertise to keep up with the spreading virus.

The AllAfrica Foundation is launching a 'Give a Glove' campaign to call attention to the yawning gap between needs and available assistance and to enable people around the world to help.

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