Africa

As new Ebola outbreak emerges in DRC, IRC calls for swift action and funding for frontline aid agencies to stop the spread

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As new Ebola outbreak emerges in DRC, IRC calls for swift action and funding for frontline aid agencies to stop the spread

Another epidemic in North Kivu could be catastrophic if not quickly contained

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 14, 2021 / APO Group / –

As Ebola is confirmed in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after the deaths of four people suspected of being infected with the virus last month, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is extremely concerned about the fact that another Ebola outbreak in the region is still reeling from the latest outbreak, battling COVID-19 and seeing increased violence and food insecurity. The last outbreak in this area was declared just a few months ago in May this year, as the last major outbreak of 2018-2020 claimed the lives of more than 2,200 people, or nearly 66% of those who introduced the virus. The response was extremely difficult due to the ongoing conflict in the region, and the epidemic lasted for more than two years. Beating Ebola in North Kivu will now be doubly complicated given the impacts of COVID-19. IRC calls for swift action and direct funding to frontline aid agencies to end the two epidemics.

Kate Moger, Regional Vice President for the Great Lakes at IRC, said:

“Another epidemic in North Kivu could be catastrophic if it is not quickly contained. Residents of this region have faced decades of violence from armed groups and are now, between Ebola and COVID-19, facing epidemics for nearly three consecutive years. These communities are still trying to rebuild themselves from the impact of the latest Ebola outbreak on their health systems, as well as the emotional trauma resulting from increased violence, especially against women, while also addressing COVID-19. The COVID pandemic has further exacerbated an already dire situation and resulted in a significant increase in food insecurity and even more conflict. Women and girls are always more affected during crises and we must ensure the protection of women and girls throughout each of these multiple crises.

“It is imperative that we apply the lessons learned from past epidemics to stop the spread of Ebola in the DRC and beyond its borders. IRC stands in solidarity with affected communities and calls for immediate action and funding for frontline aid agencies to contain the two epidemics and prevent further spread. ”

There are now more people facing a serious food crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo than ever in any country. The DRC ranks in the top 5 of the IRC’s emergency watch list for the third year in a row, reflecting continued volatility in a country that is now in its fourth decade of major humanitarian crisis.

The IRC responded to the 2018-2020 Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri by working in more than 70 health facilities in Beni, Mabalako, Butembo, Goma and Mambasa on infection prevention and control (IPC). The IRC also works on the protection of women and children and integrates Ebola-related protection issues in areas where the IRC supports primary health care services. The IRC also worked to contain the 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The IRC has worked in the DRC since 1996, providing emergency assistance and humanitarian aid to people affected by violence and uprooted from their homes. As the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict and widespread disease, IRC is focusing its efforts on Tanganyika, Ituri and North and South Kivu by providing emergency health care, shelter, water, sanitation and emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of people. people in eastern and central Congo

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