BRAZZAVILLE / February 28, 2019 –The World Health Organization (WHO) is deeply concerned by the recent attacks on Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola treatment centers in Katwa on February 24 and in Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo, on February 27. These attacks are deplorable for their immediate impact on life and for the risk of spreading the disease. They are deeply disrespectful of the dedicated work of local, regional and international stakeholders.
Following the latest Butembo attack, WHO and its partners are working to ensure the safety of patients and staff. The patients were transferred to the Katwa Transit Center, which the WHO is expanding to accommodate and treat these additional patients. The response is a priority to ensure quality clinical care for patients. Field staff are also working to monitor the four convalescent patients who sought refuge elsewhere during the violence.
MSF said its staff was safe. Similarly, all WHO staff in the region are taken into account. However, the security services suffered losses.
These attacks have occurred in areas where Ebola transmission is ongoing in the community and could lead to increased transmission and additional hardships for the local community. Violence and disruption in treatment centers also complicate the task of Ebola responders.
WHO field teams continue to work tirelessly to meet the challenges. WHO is working closely with partners to identify appropriate measures to ensure the maintenance of the global response to Ebola. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and our partners, our priority remains to end the epidemic.
Communications Officer, a.i.
okas [at] qui.int
+242 06 508 1009
Communication Officer, DRC
Kabambie [at] qui.int
+243 81715 1697