Ebola treatment center attacked again as Congo battles deadly epidemic


The World Health Organization said one staff member had been injured during Saturday's attack by armed groups who again targeted the center last week. The Director-General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, went to the country for a three-day visit and met with officials and staff of the center after the visit. ;attack.

"It is heartbreaking for me to think of the injured health workers and the deceased policeman during the attack today, as we continue to mourn those who died during the attack. previous attacks, while defending the right to health, "said Tedros. "But we have no choice but to continue serving the people here, who are among the most vulnerable in the world."

He said some groups "were exploiting the desperation of the situation" during the Ebola outbreak.

"The people of Katwa and Butembo, as well as other communities affected by the Ebola virus, want and deserve a place to receive care and a chance of survival," he said.

Help agencies seek police protection

Katwa and Butembo are in North Kivu, a province struggling with a long-standing conflict and dozens of armed groups causing intermittent violence, according to the World Health Organization. He said he was receiving additional support from the UN and the local police to protect the treatment centers.

"To defeat Ebola, we must strike a delicate balance between providing accessible care, maintaining the neutrality of the response, and protecting patients and staff from attacks by armed groups – these are the dilemmas we face in the conflict zones of the world. the epidemic and we are committed to improving the health of the people of the DRC, "said Tedros.

A policeman stands at the treatment center after Saturday's attack.

Attacks End Efforts to Fight the Epidemic

Last month, two attacks on Ebola treatment centers in North Kivu forced Doctors Without Borders (also known as Doctors Without Borders or MSF) to suspend some humanitarian efforts.

Doctors Without Borders was targeted in an attack in Katwa on February 24 and another three days later in Butembo, the medical relief organization announced last month.

MSF suspended operations in Butembo and Katwa, but announced that it would continue its Ebola-related activities in other cities in North Kivu and the neighboring province of Ituri.

The two provinces are among the most populous in the country and bordering Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Nearly 1000 cases in the last outbreak

The current outbreak of Ebola began in August. It is the second-most deadly and second-largest in history, overtaken by only one in West Africa in 2014, when the disease killed more than 11,000 people, according to the report. # 39; WHO.

Fast facts of Ebola
Last week, WHO set the number of Ebola cases in the DRC at 913 – with 848 confirmed and 65 probable cases. He said that 574 people had died.

The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 and is one of the most virulent diseases in the world.

It is spread by direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of infected people, causing fever, severe headaches and, in some cases, bleeding.

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