The most recent Ebola outbreak spreading through the Democratic Republic of Congo is now the worst in the country’s history, with 209 dead and 333 confirmed or probable cases, according to the DRC’s health ministry.
According to The Express, efforts to contain the disease have been hampered by localized armed conflict and community resistance to health officials.
The outbreak, the second this year, began in North Kivu before spreading east to Ituri. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, the DRC’s minister of public health, said efforts to contain the deadly outbreak have been thwarted by violence against health officials and civilians as militant groups battle for control in the affected region. –Express
Two health workers were killed during the militant attack according to the minister, while 11 civilians and a soldier were killed last month in the city of Beni – the outbreak’s epicenter.
And on Thursday, the United Nations announced that at least seven UN peacekeepers were killed by militants in at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.
“Our peacekeeping colleagues tell us that six peacekeepers from Malawi and one from Tanzania who are part of the U.N. peacekeeping operation in the DRC … were killed yesterday, in Beni territory, in North Kivu,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Meanwhile, a USAID worker speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity said “We are absolutely concerned about the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is occurring in an area of active conflict, so physical insecurity is a persistent challenge and complication to the ongoing response efforts.”
“No other epidemic in the world has been as complex as the one we are currently experiencing,” said Kalenga.
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