Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo :: Update to 22 Sep 2018

Milestones :: Perspectives
 
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Ebola – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Disease outbreak news
20 September 2018
The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains active. While substantial progress has been made to limit the spread of the disease to new areas and the situation in Mangina (Mabalako Health Zone) is stabilizing, the cities of Beni and Butembo have become the new hotspot. Response teams continue to enhance activities to mitigate potential clusters in these cities and prevent spread to other areas.

Significant risks for further spread of the disease remain. Continued challenges include contacts lost to follow-up, delayed recognition of EVD in health centres, poor infection prevention and control (IPC) in health centres, and reluctance among some cases to be treatment in Ebola treatment centres (ETCs). While the majority of communities have welcomed response measures, in some, risks of transmission and poor disease outcomes have been amplified by unfavourable behaviours, with reluctance to adopt prevention and risk mitigation strategies.
The priority remains strengthening all components of the public health response in all affected areas, as well as continuing to enhance operational readiness and preparedness in the non-affected provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries.

Since the last Disease Outbreak News (data as of 12 September), five new confirmed EVD cases were reported: four from Beni and one from Butembo health zones. All have been linked to ongoing transmission chains within these respective communities…

Public health response
…As of 19 September, 58 vaccination rings have been defined, in addition to 24 rings of health workers and other frontline workers. These rings include the contacts (and their contacts) of all confirmed cases from the last four weeks. To date, 10 701 people consented and were vaccinated, including 4008 health care or frontline workers, and 2362 children. The ring vaccination teams are currently active in three health areas in North Kivu and one in Ituri…

07: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu 18 September 2018

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Uganda Prepares to Vaccinate against Ebola in Case the Virus Strikes the Country
Kampala, 20th September 2018: As Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) preparedness activities intensify in Uganda, the Ministry of Health with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) is making arrangements to vaccinate frontline health workers and high-risk populations should need arise.

In case Uganda gets a case of EVD, a strategy known as ring vaccination will be implemented. Under this strategy, health workers will define several layers of contacts also known as contacts, contact of contacts and vaccinate them. These are people most likely to be infected with the virus and they usually include health workers, family members of EVD patients, their neighbours and friends.

The ring vaccination strategy was used to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s, it helped contain the EVD outbreak in West Africa and is currently being used to control the disease in Eastern Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).

“EVD is a highly contagious and deadly disease with the Ebola Zaire strain being the most virulent. Health workers often lose their lives during Ebola outbreaks. Therefore, the rollout of this life-saving vaccine will go a long way in averting health worker mortality due to exposure to the deadly disease,” said Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health.

In Uganda’s preparation, spaces for the cold chain to store the vaccine have already been identified. The freezers, the transportation crates, storage boxes, pallets, and vaccines carriers have arrived in the country and have been installed. A total of 3000 doses of the rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola vaccine will be imported and administered in an estimated period of six months using the compassionate approach. This vaccine is highly protective and has demonstrated efficacy against Ebolavirus-Zaire that is currently affecting parts of DRC in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces…

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WHO and CDC support the Ministry of Health to strengthen capacity for detection, investigation and response to Ebola Virus Disease in districts bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo
17 September 2018
The outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Beni, North Kivu province poses a risk of the disease spreading beyond the borders of the country to its neighboring countries including Zambia. It is for this reason that the WHO Country Office in collaboration with the US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and Africa CDC has provided financial and technical support to the Ministry of Health through the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) to strengthen capacity for prevention, detection, investigation and response to Ebola Virus Disease in districts bordering the DRC. Zambia is particularly at high risk of importation of cases due to the cross-border movement of people and goods. In addition, the country hosts several camps of refugees fleeing from the civil unrest in Eastern DRC and has continued to receive more refugees even during the on-going EVD outbreak…

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Press release
155 children left orphaned or separated from their parents in DRC’s latest Ebola outbreak – UNICEF
KINSHASA/DAKAR/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 21 September 2018 – UNICEF and its partners have so far identified 155 children who have been orphaned or left unaccompanied as a result of the latest Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This figure includes children who have lost one or both parents, or primary caregivers to Ebola, as well as those who have been left unaccompanied while their parents are isolated in Ebola treatment centres.

Children who lose a parent due to Ebola are at risk of being stigmatized, isolated or abandoned, in addition to the experience of losing a loved one or primary caregiver. This group of children, in addition to those who have been left on their own while their parents receive in-patient treatment, are particularly vulnerable and UNICEF is concerned for their wellbeing.

“The loss of a parent or a loved one can be a deeply upsetting experience for a child,” said Dr Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC. “Our mission is to protect and to assist all the children affected by the Ebola virus. As the outbreak continues, we will continue to coordinate with our partners to ensure their physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing.”…