According to the country’s officials, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in its history. Over 200 individuals has passed away from the illness since this past August, and close 330 probable or confirmed cases have been brought forward.
The current outbreak, which also happens to be the second Ebola outbreak of 2018, emerged in North Kivu province and spread to the Ituri province, located in the eastern part of the Congo. Sadly, this marks the 10th Ebola outbreak in the DRC since 1976.
Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Conga’s Minister of Public Health, stated this past Sunday that violence against civilians and health officials by militant groups regarding area control have sadly only decreased efforts when it comes to trying to contain this Eboloa outbreak. As per the minister, two healthcare workers passed away because of one attack, while in October one soldier and 11 civilians were killed in Beni, a region that has been hit hard by the outbreak.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over one million refugees and internally displaced individuals in Ituri and Norht Kivu, and their continued movement in and out of provinces is a risk factor when it comes to spreading the virus.
CNN reported that DRC has had a long history of political instability, and with the nation currently preparing a delayed and much-anticipated general election by the end of this year, it continues to be very vulnerable. In October, the WHO stated the country’s current Ebola outbreak was not thought to be a public health emergency on an international scale as it did not meet requirements. This month, WHO stated 27,000 individuals within the nation were vaccinated against the illness, but that organization workers dealt with resistance when it came to some areas for vaccination, as well as burying dead, due to issues around misinformation and trust.