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Better Understanding Of Ebola, Improved WASH Needed To End Ebola Outbreak In Congo

The Guardian: We’re in constant fear of armed attack as we treat Ebola patients in Congo
Eric Mukama, health zone coordinator in the DRC with Care

“I have been responding to different disease outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for 18 years, yet I have never seen anything as challenging as containing Ebola in an armed-conflict zone. … Here, any aid worker, especially us locals, can be in imminent danger. … Despite [some] communities’ resistance, people are becoming aware of the disease and its danger. But even the most basic ways to counter it are almost impossible to implement in some inaccessible villages. … The basic health precautions we promote to eliminate Ebola are the same standards that should be applied all the time, with or without an epidemic. Sadly, this outbreak has revealed a gap there, which could be due to lack of awareness, or lack of tools and infrastructure. To be better able to protect communities from epidemics, some basic services need to be enhanced. Beni, for example, water networks do not reach everywhere, and schools do not have enough bathrooms. … If it is possible to prevent the infection of all the staff and volunteers responding to the epidemic, then it must be possible to eliminate Ebola completely” (11/6).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.