Disease spreads © John Bompengo
Following the renewed Ebola outbreak in Congo, the aid organization Care 300 sees.000 people at risk of death. Concerns about rapid spread are very high, country director Tom Friedeberg said in Bonn on Tuesday.
"We are particularly concerned because the deadly disease has broken out in the border region with Uganda. Here are many people traveling between the two national territories," Friedeberg said.
This is the tenth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1976. Currently, at least 37 cases of the viral disease are known, 22 people died, according to Care. As recently as 25. July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Ebola outbreak in the west of the country to be over.
Threat to people
In addition to Ebola, ongoing violent clashes threaten large segments of the population. Across the country, some 4.5 million people are displaced and nearly eight million people are dependent on humanitarian aid, according to Care data. "There is a lack of equipment, personnel and medicines," criticized Friedeberg.
Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe also called for swift action and increased efforts for prevention. "Prevention is now the most important thing to prevent further spread of the virus. People urgently need to be educated about how to avoid contracting the deadly virus," said leader Martin Kebler in Berlin. He spoke of at least 43 Ebola cases in North Kivu province in the east; 34 people are believed to have already died from Ebola.
Problems contain the disease
The region around the town of Beni has been considered unstable for decades. Various militias engage in fighting, both among themselves and with government and UN forces. In addition, the province is home to 1.3 million people who fled the fighting. "The virus broke out this time in a province of the DR Congo where severe armed conflicts are raging," Kebler says. "That makes it infinitely more difficult than in the western part of the country to contain Ebola quickly."