from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE resurgence of Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) evokes memories of the outbreak that claimed more than 2 200 people between 2018 and 2020.
A new case has been confirmed in the North Kivu Province, where a previous outbreak, the twelfth, was declared over May 2021.
That was after the tenth outbreak that was the second worst in global history.
It claimed the lives of 2 299 people from 3 481 between August 2018 and June 2020.
The latest case is a child, who died last Wednesday in Butsili, which is close to Beni, a town which was one of the epicentres of the 2018–2020 outbreak.
Butsili is about 50 km from Butembo city, which experienced a new Ebola outbreak earlier this year.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, said the organisation was supporting health authorities to investigate the new Ebola case.
“North Kivu has been battered by Ebola outbreaks during the past few years, but this has built up local expertise and community awareness, paving the way for a fast-moving response.”
North Kivu provincial health authorities are leading the current response with support from the Ministry of Health and WHO.
During the previous outbreaks in North Kivu, WHO helped build the capacity of local laboratory technicians, contact tracers, vaccination teams and reached out to community groups to raise Ebola awareness as well as put in place an Ebola survivor programme.
The virus was first described in 1976 near the Ebola River. No less than 280 people died, from 318 cases.
– CAJ News