Violence Perpetuating DRC Ebola Outbreak, Experts Say; U.N. OCHA, Aid Groups Formally Call For Stronger Response

CIDRAP News: Experts: DRC Ebola outbreak fueled by attacks
“By early February 2019, transmission of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) Ituri province was largely under control, and declines were observed in Katwa and Butembo, several leading experts on the outbreak wrote [Wednesday] in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). But a sudden increase in violent attacks on health care workers and facilities throughout North Kivu province have caused the outbreak to spike in the last 2 months and become intractable…” (Soucheray, 5/30).

New Humanitarian: Aid community raises highest alert on Ebola
“U.N. and leading aid groups on Wednesday took the step of formally declaring that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo needs a major scale-up from the humanitarian community. A spokesperson for the U.N.’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, confirmed the decision of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which it chairs. The move can unlock stronger leadership and more funding, but ‘it’s not a panacea,’ according to a top Red Cross official…” (Parker, 5/30).

Reuters: Congo forces kill 26 Islamist rebels in Ebola zone shootout
“Congolese forces killed 26 rebels on Thursday from a group thought to be linked to Islamic State while repelling an attack in east Congo’s Ebola zone, the army said…” (Mahamba et al., 5/30).

Reuters: Children under five dying at higher rate in Congo Ebola epidemic — WHO
“Children under five infected with Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are dying at a higher rate than other patients as their parents shun special treatment centers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday…” (Nebehay, 5/30).

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