Ebola Epidemic in DRC Out of Control as Death Toll Rises - MSF

Ebola Epidemic in DRC Out of Control as Death Toll Rises - MSF

There have been some "30 different incidents and attacks against elements of the response" in eastern Congo, the medical group's president Joanne Liu told reporters in Geneva on Thursday.

MSF had set his work in two places after an Unknown person had attacked the local treatment centers last week.

"The use of coercion adds fuel to this, using police to force people into complying with health measures is not only unethical, it is totally counterproductive", she said. More than 40 percent of the people die, according to the home and not in treatment centers.

The organisation's health care centers in Butembo and Katwa were burned down, forcing the health workers to withdraw.

This is the second largest Ebola outbreak on record causing a massive global response. "It shows how the response has failed to listen and act on the needs of those most affected".

There were signs the outbreak - the second worst ever - was not being brought under control.

The failure to overcome the ongoing epidemic has seen it evolve into the second largest ever breakout of its kind, trailing an epidemic between 2013-2016 which killed about 11,300 people in West Africa as it surged through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. This time around 80,000 people have been vaccinated against the disease.

"The existing atmosphere can only be described as toxic".

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Involvement of security and police forces merely deepened suspicions that Ebola was being used as a political tool, she said.

WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, meanwhile, said while it was "not ideal" for security forces to be present at treatment centres or during health workers' visits to the community, "the WHO and partners must keep our workers safe".

An attack by gunmen on one of the centres last week in Butembo forced its temporary closure, but the health ministry said on Monday that the centre would reopen. Local officials, unlike worldwide staffers, did not have the privilege of being evacuated for security reasons, she said.

"They hear constant advice to wash their hands, but nothing about the lack of soap and water", Liu said.

"It is a hard balance to strike", he added. Choices must be given back to patients and their families on how to manage the disease. The increase the risk of Infection for other people.

"That means we do not know how they got it", Liu said. It has an incubation period of between two to 21 days, according to the WHO.

It has claimed 561 lives out of 894 recorded cases, according the latest DRC health ministry figures. As a result of such violence, the "Ebola response [is] failing to gain the upper hand on the epidemic", the organization says in a press release.

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