Six more Ebola infections have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) outbreaks, part of fluctuating levels that health officials have warned about in the wake of recent attacks and security incidents that have temporarily shut down response activities in some of the current hot spots.
In other developments, the Christian humanitarian group World Vision yesterday released two reports based on interviews with people affected by the outbreak, one of which airs fears and concerns voiced by children and the other describing the impact of the events on children.
Infections rise amid response stalls
The six new infections come after four were reported yesterday, and appear to be part of ongoing activity in a few hot spots, which have been riddled with civil unrest and violent clashes involving rebel groups. The outbreak total is now 3,330 cases, and authorities are still investigating 351 suspected cases.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) online Ebola dashboard, one more death has been reported, raising the fatality count to 2,207.
Meanwhile, the DRC’s Ebola technical committee today, in its latest daily update, had locations for yesterday’s four cases; two were from Beni and two were from Mabalako. It added that response activities are still suspended in Beni, Mangina, and Biakato, due to security reasons.
Humanitarian group interviews Ebola-affected populations
In other developments, World Vision, a Christian humanitarian group based in California, yesterday released the results of interviews and focus group meetings with people in Beni and Butembo who have been affected by the Ebola outbreak. It included input from 268 people, 139 children and 129 caregivers.
One of the two reports focuses on interviews with 30 children who survived Ebola or were orphaned by the disease.
“The findings give an insight into children’s lived experiences. These have informed the development of a set of recommendations that will guide World Vision’s advocacy and response to the Ebola crisis in Eastern DRC,” the group wrote.
A separate document provides a more detailed description of the outbreak’s impact on children, covering armed conflict, displacement, poor access to health and educational services, rumors, and the impact of fear, isolation, and stigmatization regarding Ebola.
The group included four recommendations for international donors and the DRC government, which include:
- Immediate scale-up of a fully funded response
- Investments in long-term health and child protection systems
- Rapid expansion of support for children affected by Ebola, and
- Prioritizing psychosocial assistance when managing Ebola.
WHO online Ebola dashboard
World Vision report on impact of Ebola and war in the DRC
World Vision report on children’s fears in the DRC Ebola outbreak