citation

"DRC Ebola News (8/29/19)." CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security, Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 29, 2019. Accessed September 16, 2019. https://healthsecurity.csis.org/articles/drc-ebola-news-8-29-19/

Daily update for August 29th, 2019 on the Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

Photo Credit: Mike Stone/Getty Images

There were 7 new cases as of August 28th.

People in Goma are worried that Ebola may spread due to difficulties finding clean water.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is pushing for two new steps to tackle the outbreak: integrating Ebola care into local health systems and expanding the use of the Merck vaccine.

In a letter to The Lancet, experts advocate for more research on Ebola and breastfeeding.

DRC’s intelligence agency has ordered an audit of spending by the interim government that has run the country for seven months since President Felix Tshisekedi’s inauguration.

Community-based wildlife carcass surveillance is key for early detection of Ebola virus

DRC MoH Statistics/WHO AFRO Dashboard

WHO AFRO Dashboard

Total cases: 3,004

  • Confirmed cases: 2,899
  • Probable cases: 105
  • Suspected cases: 378

Deaths: 1,998

Vaccinated: 206,774

DR Congo: Ebola fears grow over lack of access to clean water

Al Jazeera

8/29/19

Water stands have been set up around Goma and at border crossings close to Rwanda. Many residents of Goma solely depend on Lake Kivu for water supply for drinking and washing. Residents also queue for hours at public taps, because they do not have running water at home. Having access to water is important for Ebola prevention efforts, and good hygiene is important to curb this epidemic. There have been no new Goma cases reported this month, but many still fear that without enough water, the disease might resurface.

South Kivu reports 5th Ebola case; MSF calls for expanded vaccination

CIDRAP

8/28/19

MSF said one of the keys to bringing the outbreak to an end is integrating Ebola response activities into existing health systems to ensure that medical services are close to people who need them. It said people are more likely to seek care at familiar health facilities rather than going directly to an Ebola Treatment Center (ETC). It also said working more closely with local health centers helps identify cases earlier, which increases the chance of survival and prevents spread. MSF also weighed in on the outbreak’s vaccination strategy, suggesting that the current ring vaccination strategy isn’t enough to contain the epidemic. A drawback of the strategy is that it relies heavily on identification and follow-up on contacts, which is very challenging. It said it agrees with expert recommendations that a geographic-based strategy could vaccinate more people who are at risk for contracting the virus. Given concerns about the Merck vaccine supply, it said the DRC is reconsidering its decision against adding a second vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, which requires a follow-up dose.

Meanwhile, two experts called for more research on Ebola appearance and persistence in breast milk and better evidence-based advice for asymptomatic breastfeeding mothers in Ebola-affected households. They said information about Ebola virus presence in breast milk is limited, compared to what is known about the virus in other body fluids. They said the consequences from a lack of clarity on the questions are potentially enormous for the DRC, such as eroding public health efforts to encourage breastfeeding or potentially putting infants at risk.

Congo intelligence service orders audit of interim government spending

Reuters

8/28/19

Intelligence chief Justin Inzun Kakiak declined to elaborate on reasons for the audit, but civil society groups have accused the interim cabinet of profligate spending. The interim cabinet consists largely of holdovers from Kabila’s final government. They have remained in place as negotiations to form a new government dragged on between Tshisekedi and Kabila. Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba finally named new ministers and vice ministers on Monday. Watchdog groups have criticized heavy spending by the interim government, some of whose ministers have overseen two or three portfolios at a time after other ministers left to take up seats in parliament.

Twitter

Tweet by Amy Maxmen– 8/29/19

@amymaxmen

A targeted attack today on #Ebola responders leaves a soldier on guard dead in #Butembo #DRC. So far, more than 60 Ebola responders have been injured in attacks & 7 killed. That doesn’t include the soldiers & police attempting to protect them. HT @SMupfuni

Tweet by Helen Branswell– 8/28/19

@HelenBranswell

1. #Ebola thread: There’s another case at Mwenga, the 6th in this cluster of cases in South Kivu. This woman is a family member of one of the previous cases. There has been some resistance in this family to cooperating with the response. Not a great development.

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