Sunday , September 25 2022

The Ebola epidemic: Congolese health workers face violence as the virus spreads



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The conflict between militant groups and government forces has made it harder for health workers to access some of the areas most affected.

On Friday night, an armed group attempted to attack United Nations peacekeeping forces in Beni in the province of North Kivu – the epicenter of the epidemic.

The attack occurred near the Ebola Response Emergency Take-Off Center and in hotels where many Ebola health workers live, according to the Health Ministry.

Peacekeeping forces have been able to push the attackers back after several hours of conflict, but all activities in the field have been postponed on Saturday in Beni because of violence. The Emergency Operations Center remained closed and the teams had to stay in their hotels.

Earlier this week, at least seven peacekeepers were killed and 10 others were injured in a coordinated military assault on rebel forces, the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said.

The peacekeeping team has co-operated with the Congolese armed forces in a business to distract rebel allied democratic forces and "restore peace and stability in the Benin area," the UN said in a statement.

The deadly violence in the province of North Kivu in Congo has hampered efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus, said Olya Kilga Kalenga, Public Health Minister of the country.

Infant among the dead

The outbreak – the second this year – began in the province of North Kivu before it spread to the province of Ituri in the east of the country. This is the tenth time since 1976 when Ebola struck the Congo.

The Ebola epidemic is worse in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo

Of all the reported cases, 311 have so far been confirmed as Ebola and 47 are likely. Among the deaths, 166 are confirmed to have been caused by Ebola and 47 are likely, according to the nation's ministry of health.

Among those killed in the outbreak are pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and infants, the World Health Organization said. More than 30 health workers are infected, according to the WHO.

The fear of spreading

The Congo shares a border with nine nations and the United Nations fears that the Ebola epidemic could spread to southern Sudan due to the influx of refugees from the Congo.

Médecins Sans Frontières are located in the territory of Congo and have also deployed teams in neighboring Uganda, although so far no cases have been confirmed.
The epidemic and the war spread the fear to the neighbors of the DD. Congo
However, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that "the risk of spreading the outbreak to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in neighboring countries remains very high."

Mr Kalenga, Health Minister, posted a video on the Facebook Health Ministry's Facebook page early Saturday asking communities to alert and report any signs of illness.

Community monitoring is at the heart of the new #Ebola strategy, where each resident can protect his family and his neighborhood from the virus, reporting any warnings and suspicious cases to emergency teams. #Beni neighborhoods work next to us in the answer, "he wrote.

    A health official carries a four-day-old baby suspected of having an Ebola in Butembo.

The virus

Ebola first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and Congo and was named after a river in the last nation. It is one of the most infectious diseases in the world and is transmitted through direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids of infected people.

Ebola Fast Facts

Ebola causes fever, intense headache and in some cases bleeding. It is spread through direct contact with body fluids or objects infected by someone suffering from the disease. In some cases, the virus spreads through contact with someone who has died from the disease.

The virus enters the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth. It can also spread through sexual contact.

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