Congo-Kinshasa: Ebola-Hit - Congo to Deploy Security Forces to Protect Health Workers

Photo: IRIN
Many Ebola burial (file photo).
10 October 2018

Congo will deploy security forces to protect teams transporting the bodies of Ebola victims for burial, the government said on Wednesday.

The government said this due to several attacks on health workers during the latest Ebola outbreak in the country's troubled east.

"The government is also making it a legal obligation for traditional healers to report those suspected of having the virus," the health ministry said in a statement.

The new measures came after the International Red Cross recently condemned an attack that injured three of its volunteers, who were trying to bury an Ebola victim.

In September, one Red Cross volunteer was injured when people threw stones at a vehicle transporting a safe burial team.

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The organisation has noted the fear and distrust among those in the communities they were trying to help in Eastern Congo, which is plagued by conflict.

Ebola has claimed 118 lives since the outbreak started almost two months ago in a region where numerous militia groups operate, most fighting over the central African country's rich natural resources.

On Sept. 21, people died in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces rebels in the city of Beni, forcing the World Health Organisation to briefly halt their anti-Ebola operations there.

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