More Secure Environment Needed To End DRC Ebola Outbreak, U.N. Official Says; MSF Warns Contact Tracing Too Low

Associated Press: Aid group: Most new Ebola cases were not known contacts
“The World Health Organization emphasized progress in the fight against Ebola in eastern Congo even as Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday that efforts to trace new cases to previous ones are largely failing. WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters in Geneva that disease surveillance has improved even as the number of attacks against health workers rose three-fold over the last five months. … Doctors Without Borders, which pulled out of Ebola treatment centers in Butembo and Katwa earlier this year because of the violence, said contact tracing is still too low…” (Keaten/Larson, 5/28).

CIDRAP News: WHO experts say violence preventing end of Ebola outbreak
“[Tuesday] experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) said the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is being fueled by violent security incidents. ‘The outbreak could be stopped … but without a secure environment it’s not possible,’ said Matshidiso Moeti, MBBS, MSc, WHO regional director for Africa, in a teleconference…” (Soucheray, 5/28).

Reuters: East Congo villagers kill Ebola health worker, loot clinic
“A mob in eastern Congo killed an Ebola health worker and looted a clinic [on Saturday], the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, underscoring a breakdown in public trust that is hampering efforts to contain the deadly virus. … Health workers have been attacked six times in the last eight days, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the closing session of the annual World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday…” (Mahamba et al., 5/29).

U.N. News: DR Congo: Strengthened effort against Ebola is paying off, but insecurity still major constraint — U.N. health agency
“…To strengthen the coordination of the response and ‘create a much more enabling environment,’ this week, the deputy head of the DRC peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, David Gressly — newly appointed U.N. emergency Ebola response coordinator — will be arriving in the city of Butembo, at the epicenter of the outbreak. Among several other key objectives, his role will be to help strengthen the DRC government’s engagement around security, in a bid to reconcile various warring parties in the area. In parallel, a scale-up of operations in the region from health and humanitarian organizations is also expected…” (5/28).

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