"DRC Ebola News (12/6/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 06, 2019. Accessed January 24, 2020. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-12-6-19/
There were 2 new cases reported on December 6th.
DRC continues to experience a widespread measles outbreak alongside the Ebola epidemic.
WHO said the interruption of response activities due to recent attacks threatens to reverse progress on combating Ebola.
DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard (as of December 6)
Total cases: 3,320
- Confirmed cases: 3,202
- Probable cases: 118
- Suspected cases: 357
- 255,852 (Merck Vaccine)
- 1,161 (J&J Vaccine)
Violence against health workers complicating measles outbreak in Ebola-ravaged Congo
Violence against health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo is complicating the response to a massive measles outbreak and accelerating the spread of the disease. Measles has claimed the lives of 5,000 people since the start of the year, twice as many as the ongoing Ebola epidemic. Attacks on health workers, treatment centers and communities have been frequent occurrences during this latest Ebola outbreak and are complicating the access to health care and vaccines to prevent against measles. Moreover, community distrust of the government and authorities is fueling widespread suspicion of international aid organizations. Grand Leaity, coordinator of UNICEF’s Ebola response, told CBC radio that “there is a feeling that by these health workers coming in, they will actually spread the contamination.” The issues that have made it tough to fight Ebola in DRC — such as the multiple generations of conflict — will continue to hamper the measles response.
Disease outbreak news: Update
Nine new confirmed cases were reported from 27 November to 3 December in the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. The confirmed cases in this week were reported from Mandima (56%, n=5) and Mabalako (44%, n=4) Health Zones. As a result of the uptick in violence over the past two weeks, several key activities of the response experienced diminished performance, including the volume of reported and investigated alerts and the number of contacts registered and followed. The overall average percentage of contacts under surveillance in the last seven days is 70%, which is below the average for November prior to these security events due to suboptimal performance in some areas of Beni, Mabalako, and Oicha Health Zones. Although the number of new confirmed cases has remained relatively low, the interruption of response activities due to attacks, violence and unrest threatens to reverse recent progress.
WHO ‘concerned’ about potential rise in Ebola cases following attacks
According to WHO, there have been approximately 390 attacks on health facilities this year in the DRC, killing 11 and injuring 83 health care workers and patients. The latest attacks occurred on the night of Nov. 27 at a camp housing Ebola outbreak response staff in Biakato Mines and on the Ebola coordination office in Mangina. Tedros said in a news release that the outbreak cannot be ended without a much stronger effort to improve responder security. “Every time an attack like this happens, it disrupts efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak and puts the health and well-being of local men, women and children at greater risk. Such senseless violence must stop.” Before the attacks, the outbreak was confined to a “corner” of the DRC encompassing the border between North Kivu and Ituri provinces. WHO worries this progress could be upended by diminishing health services following the attacks.
Tweet by Dr. Tom Frieden – 12/6/19
With Ebola in DRC & polio in Pakistan: public health addresses one priority but people’s priority is safety, clean water, health care, jobs, education, roads, electricity, stopping corruption. Where government cannot engage, diseases (and violence) spread. https://wapo.st/2Plswvw
Tweet by Amy Maxmen – 12/5/19
Some residents in #DRC have come to ask @WHO Ebola responders to return to work. The Ebola response has been paralyzed by recent attacks, along with escalating violence in #Beni where more than 100 people were killed in the past few weeks. Imagine how abandoned communities feel.
Tweet by WHO – 12/5/19
WHO welcomes @gavi Board’s decision to fund a global stockpile of #Ebola vaccines and extend support for #malaria vaccine pilots. This is a remarkable advance for public health. http://bit.ly/34SF589