Congo reports 74 sanitary workers suspected with Ebola virus
Staff Writer |
The report says that 74 health agents are suspected of being infected with Ebola which is a blow to the campaign against the disease in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
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Because of such a situation, the Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that it had temporarily dismissed staff members of the Reference Health Center (RHC) in Mangina (province of North Kivu), considered as contacts with cases confirmed with the Ebola virus.
All of them will be monitored for 21 days and will not be able to resume work at the RHC until about one month has passed.
During this period they were asked to avoid trips outside the area and will be temporarily replaced by health personnel from other health centers, namely Oicha, Mabalako and Musienene.
So far the figures in the region account for 49 cases of hemorrhagic fever, of which 22 confirmed and 27 probable. Of the more than 30 deaths, 10 were confirmed by laboratory tests.
As part of the actions to stop the epidemic, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) forms 48 volunteers to deploy in Mangina and in Beni (neighboring city) to fight against the spread of the disease.
The chosen ones will be taken care especially to facilitate decent burials and without risk of contamination with the deceased with the evil, which can cause a lethality of up to 90 percent.
Meanwhile, a rapid intervention medical unit of the armed forces of the DRC arrived in Beni last Thursday to deal with awareness and prevention in the military camps and to provide security to surveillance teams deployed in the field.
Bishop of Butembo-Beni, Sikuli Paluku Melchisedech, recommended the installation of washes and the provision of water in the different entrance doors to the churches and chapels.
The World Health Organization, WHO, warning is the following. "This latest outbreak of Ebola virus disease is affecting north eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which are in close proximity to Uganda.
"Potential risk factors for transmission of Ebola virus disease at national and regional levels include the transportation links between the affected areas, the rest of the country, and neighbouring countries; the internal displacement of populations; and displacement of Congolese refugees to neighbouring countries.
"The country is concurrently experiencing several epidemics and a long-term humanitarian crisis. Additionally, the security situation in North Kivu may hinder the implementation of response activities. Based on this context, the public health risk is considered high at the national and regional levels and low globally." ■