Fresh Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Fresh Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker 

Modern Tokyo Times

Another fresh outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was announced with the deaths of five people in Mbandaka. This comes at a time of new ethnic and religious massacres in eastern areas. Meanwhile, a measles crisis continues with the deaths of at least 6,500 people since early 2019.

UNICEF reports, “The resurfacing of Ebola in Équateur comes just as DRC was approaching the end of the current outbreak in the eastern part of the country, which has killed 2,134 people and infected 3,317.  Équateur experienced a short outbreak from May to July 2018 during which 33 people died and 54 people were infected. Ebola has a mortality rate between 50 per cent and 60 per cent but can be as high as 78 per cent among children under five.”

The DRC is also witnessing more coronavirus (Covid-19) cases even if the death toll is currently low. Thus with coronavirus, Ebola, measles, and other serious health issues, it sums up the crisis in the DRC.

The New York Times reports, “In eastern Congo, ongoing violence and insecurity that has forced people to flee their homes has also made it difficult to end the epidemic. By comparison, the western Équateur Province, where the new Ebola cases have emerged, is relatively safe and stable.” 

Overall, the DRC is facing enormous complex health issues where health facilities are extremely scarce. At the same time, mass poverty, ethnic massacres, religious massacres, and countless militias are tearing at the heart of this fragile nation.

Hence, the international community must provide support for indigenous health networks, charities on the ground, international organizations involved in the fight against Ebola and measles, and an array of other serious issues.

https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/ebola-resurfaces-%C3%A9quateur-province-north-western-democratic-republic-congo

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/world/africa/ebola-outbreak-congo.html

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