Sunday, 21 July, 2019

Congo Ebola epidemic exceeds 1,000 cases: health ministry

Health workers are seen inside the'red zone of an Ebola treatment centre which was attacked in the early hours of the morning WHO urges support for Ebola spread in D. R. Congo
Anna Jefferson | 26 March, 2019, 05:12

The tally of deadly Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ticked above 1,000 this weekend as health responders continue to struggle to thwart the disease amid violent conflict.

At least five treatment centres have been attacked by armed gangs.

Africa News reports that DR Congo has been in face of storm following escalating security crisis and fresh cases of the deadly disease, a tragic reminder that the outbreak is not yet under control in the Central Africa state.

A total of 629 people have died of Ebola in the outbreak in eastern Congo, which began shortly after the government declared an end to another outbreak in the west of the country in June 2018.

Since August previous year, 629 people have died with 58 new cases already reported this week, the highest number in a week in 2019. In the past week we have seen 58 new cases - this is the highest number in a week in 2019.

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"In the past weeks IRC teams have run a series of community meetings to understand their concerns as well as establishing focal points within affected neighborhoods and villages", he said, noting that data revealed that working with the community is key to stopping the outbreak and that without engagements, more lives would be lost.

All of these factors have made it more hard for the health workers who are still in the area to effectively treat the disease.

Last week, the World Health Organization had reported a rise in the weekly rate of confirmed Ebola cases after several weeks of decline.

According to a statement by World Health Organisation (WHO), seen by TUKO.co.ke, more than 96 000 people had been vaccinated against the disease in DRC alongside health workers in Uganda and South Sudan. Earlier this month, militants attacked a treatment center in the city of Butembo in North Kivu, killing a police officer and injuring health workers.

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