from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – A NEW outbreak of the Ebola in Guinea evokes memories of the world’s deadliest outbreak ever, which hit West Africa several years ago.
The latest cases (three) was announced in Guinea this past weekend, at a time the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) battles its twelfth outbreak.
Guinea is where the eruption of Ebola was first confirmed in West Africa. It left over 11 300 people dead between 2013 and 2016.
With over 2 500 deaths, Guinea was the third worst affected country, after Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease,” lamented Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director for Africa.
Patrick Saah, World Vision’s Director for Sustained Humanitarian Emergencies in the DRC, said addressing public health challenges of this nature required rapid mobilisation of resources to fire up multi-sector responses.
“A new Ebola outbreak announced in Guinea this weekend further confounds the international response mechanisms,” Saah said.
Butembo, where the new cases have been declared in the DRC, was the epicentre of the tenth outbreak in the DRC, until it was declared over in June last year.
There were 3 470 cases and 2 287 deaths making it the second worst globally.
DRC is also battling malaria, cholera and measles outbreaks, further stretching the central African country’s ability to rapidly detect and respond to new Ebola cases.
Anne-Marie Connor World Vision’s National Director, said it was worrisome an outbreak of a highly contagious disease like Ebola, occurred in a region experiencing mass people movements due to violent conflict that recently affected nearly 26 000 families.
– CAJ News