Harsh setback: WHO Ebola clinics burned down in gang rivalry

WHO gets caught up in the fight against Ebola

The World Health Organization (WHO) is deeply concerned. February 27 and 27, 2019, two Ebola treatment centers in gang-rival Katwa and Butembo areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were attacked. Security forces lost their lives, and an infirmary was burned to the ground. Reasons for the attack are currently not given.

According to the WHO, the attack has greatly increased the risk of continuing Ebola transmission in the areas. Four Ebola patients fled during the attack. WHO is currently looking for those infected to prevent further outbreaks. "Such attacks are unfortunate and have a direct impact on the life of the population and the risk of the disease spreading further," wrote the WHO in a press release on the attack.

Patients had to be transferred

After the attack, the patients in the infirmary were brought to the Katwa transit center, which is now being expanded by the WHO to accommodate additional victims.

Combating diseases under extreme conditions

"The situation is unprecedented: there has never been an Ebola outbreak under these conditions," said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in another communication. The population in the areas is highly mobile with huge gaps in the health system. In addition, the security context is another big problem.

The outbreak is not over yet

The WHO has set the attack back heavily in the work. Expensive equipment, medicines, vaccines and facilities were destroyed. The director-general said $ 148 million is now needed to continue, otherwise there is a risk of severe setbacks and further outbreaks. "The outbreak is not yet over and we urgently need additional funds to get through it," emphasizes Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

About working in the Congo

According to the WHO, over 80,000 people have been vaccinated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and over 400 have been treated for Ebola. Furthermore, thousands of suspicious cases were monitored and tested for Ebola. In addition, nursing staff and border guards were trained in order to be able to react correctly to possible infected people. So far, the spread to neighboring countries has been prevented.

WHO requests support

"We have a shared responsibility to end this outbreak," emphasizes Dr. Tedros. No country or organization can face this deadly virus alone. If containment fails in Congo, the impact on public health can go far beyond the country or the continent. The WHO does not want to give up until the outbreak has stopped. "But beating Ebola wherever it is is expensive," said the general manager. He hopes for further donations. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: How to Stop an Epidemic (January 2022).