FIRST EBOLA CASE IN MAJOR CONGOLESE CITY
(Posted 16th July 2019)
East African countries with borders to the Democratic Republic of the Congo are once more stepping up measures to stop being infiltrated by individuals potentially carrying the deadly virus.
This happened two months ago when a Congolese family crossed over into Uganda, prompting an immediate medical response and seeing the affected border area being isolated to prevent further spread.
While Uganda has since been officially declared Ebola free again by the World Health Organization, has the arrival of the disease, which is highly contagious, in the city of Goma raised concerns among neighbouring countries to new heights.
Travel to and from Goma across the border with Rwanda is common and health authorities are deploying additional personnel and assets to be able to identify, isolate and then treat anyone found infected.
The spread of the disease in Congo, now the second largest outbreak ever, has been made possible by continued fighting across the affected areas between militias and between government and UN troops and militias.
Populations are also said to be responding poorly to health care activities and medical personell, on more than one occasion, were shot at or fought off by villagers due to a complete breakdown in law, order and confidence in any measures taken by what looks like government officials.
This has prompted the WHO to organise one of the largest deployments in its history, supporting health authorities from South Sudan over Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to Tanzania, all of which share a common border with the Congo.