United nations health officials say strengthening both security and Ebola response effort is essential to containing the growing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations have stepped up security for Ebola patients and healthcare workers after armed groups recently carried out attacks on treatment centers in the outbreak hot spots in the country’s east.
Healthcare workers tackling the Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo have resumed treating patients following a temporary halt of activities two weeks ago.
The suspension was caused by an attack on a treatment center in Katwa and Butembo in which a World Health Organization doctor was killed.
The DR Congo recorded 27 new cases of Ebola on Sunday, the biggest number since the outbreak was declared in August last year. The Congolese health minister says insecurity has significantly reversed the gains they’ve made.
The government and international organizations have stepped up their protection of healthcare workers and patients.
Health workers are grappling with issues of mistrust by some community members and the belief that Ebola was brought by foreigners.
An increase in security has been welcomed by healthcare workers in DR Congo, many of whom had threatened to go on strike if authorities didn’t do more to protect them.
Meanwhile many are concerned that the Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo will worsen if attacks by militia groups continue to prevent patients from getting treatment.