Since August, more than 1,000 people from eastern Congo have died because of Ebola according to a statement provided on Friday by the health minister of the country as efforts to contain the second-deadliest outbreak of the virus are continuously hampered by hostility toward health workers.
Oly Ilunga, the Health Minister, told The Associated Press that the death toll was helped to be pushed to 1,008 after the deaths of four other people in the outbreak’s epicenter of Katwa. The city of Butembo also reported the death of two different people.
Almost nine months ago the outbreak was declared, and it already has made a lot of victims behind the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa’s Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone when more than 11,000 people were killed.
Ebola Strikes Again in Congo and Makes Hundreds of Victims
The efforts to control the epidemic in eastern Congo have been hampered by the deep community mistrust and a volatile security situation. A lot of attacks took place in Ebola treatment centers which made the government health officials staff clinics in the hotspots of Butembo and Katwa.
Because of the violence in those two communities, International aid organizations stopped their work — last months during an assault on a hospital in Butembo a Cameroonian epidemiologist working with WHO was killed. The Ebola outbreak is now even harder to control because the insecurity has become a “major impediment” according to the WHO’s health emergencies chief, Michael Ryan, in a statement to some reporters in Geneva earlier Friday.
He mentioned that since January 119 attacks had been recorded while health facilities were the target of 42 of them with many 85 health workers being killed or wounded. There are dozens of rebel groups that operate in the region, and the health personnel is rejected by the political rivalries in part drive’s community.
Bo has over six years experience as a teacher, advocate and speaker. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Human rights from Harvard University Graduate School.