6 June 2019

Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Ebola Cases Escalate to 2 000

Kinshasa — THE number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has reached 2 000 amid ignorance among some local communities on the disease.

Over 1 300 people have died from the fever since the outbreak in Ituri and North Kivu provinces in August last year.

Corinne N'Daw, Oxfam's Country Director in the DRC, said the current response to tackle Ebola was not working.

"No matter how effective treatment is, if people don't trust or understand it, they will not use it," N'Daw said.

The official said Oxfam teams were still meeting people on a daily basis who did not believe Ebola is real.

Many cases are going un-noticed because people with symptoms have been avoiding treatment, it has emerged.

"This lack of trust makes it impossible to break the chain of transmission," N'Daw said.

In addition, a number of violent attacks by rebel groups over the last few months has forced most aid organisations, including Oxfam, to repeatedly suspend activities.

This has seriously hampered the ability to vaccinate people, decontaminate houses and carry out safe burials, resulting in a peak in cases.

"We fear another peak (in cholera) could happen in the next few weeks," N'Daw said.

The current outbreak is the second worst in global history behind the crisis that claimed some 11 000 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016.


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