Ebola Response In DR Congo ‘Failing’ To Contain Outbreak: MSF

Ebola Response In DR Congo ‘Failing’ To Contain Outbreak: MSF

Ebola Response In DR Congo ‘Failing’ To Contain Outbreak: MSF

Efforts to end the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second-largest such epidemic ever, are failing because outside organizations have alienated the communities, leading residents to avoid medical care and even to attack treatment centers, Dr. Joanne Liu, the worldwide president of Doctors Without Borders, said Thursday.

The epidemic is the second-largest ever, after the one in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, which sickened 28,610 people and killed 11,308.

MSF had set his work in two places after an Unknown person had attacked the local treatment centers last week.

"We have a striking contradiction: on the one hand a rapid and large outbreak response with new medical tools such as vaccines and treatments that show promising outcomes when people come early - and on the other hand, people with Ebola are dying in their communities, and do not trust the Ebola response enough to come forward", said International President of MSF, Dr. Joanne Liu.

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Ebola responders are increasingly seen as the enemy, with more than 30 attacks and incidents against the Ebola response in the past month alone, she said. "Using police to force people into complying with health measures is not only unethical, it's counter-productive. And, that they want to be in our center because they believe that is going to be the best way to fight Ebola". And it urged even wider use of the vaccine, which has been administered to more than 86,000 people in the DRC.

Liu described aspects of the DRC's forceful Ebola response that would seem terrifying to villagers: fleets of vehicles arriving to pick up a sick individual, people instructed to wash their hands but not given soap, dead bodies sprayed with chlorine and unceremoniously buried in plastic bags while their possessions are burned to keep Ebola from spreading.

"We have seen outbreaks end in areas where the communities have become engaged, from health workers to religious leaders to youth groups", Jasarevic said. She included her own organization among those that had fallen short and urged medical teams to treat Ebola patients "as humans and not as a biothreat".

It emerged in eastern North Kivu province in August and later spread to neighbouring Ituri province, both of which are wracked by inter-communal violence and unrest.

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At least 569 people have died among the 907 confirmed and probable cases, according to the World Health Organization. The increase the risk of Infection for other people.

Also in the update, the health ministry pushed back on and clarified some perceptions of the outbreak.

A range of issues have led to these tensions: from the massive deployment of financial resources focusing only on Ebola, in a neglected region suffering from conflict, violence and long standing health needs; to elections being officially postponed due to the Ebola outbreak, exacerbating suspicions that Ebola is a political ploy.

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