300 attacks on Ebola health workers in DR Congo this year

An estimated 160 rebel groups with a total of more than 20,000 fighters are still active in the DRC's east

An estimated 160 rebel groups with a total of more than 20,000 fighters are still active in the DRC's east

The national and regional risk levels of Ebola situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) remain very high, while global risk levels remain low, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Prof Steve Ahuka, national co-ordinator of the fight against Ebola, confirmed the reports from the army that a "community worker" involved in the fight against Ebola had been killed.

The unnamed journalist, who was also serving as a community health worker, was attacked at his home in the northeast town of Lwemba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Our colleague Papy Mumbere Mahamba, has been killed at his home by unknown attackers ...", who had stabbed him to death, Jacques Kamwina told AFP.

OLPA has called for the authorities to conduct a "serious investigation" into the murder.

DRC declared an Ebola epidemic in August 2018 in the conflict-wracked eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri, bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Violence against health care workers and Ebola treatment facilities has hampered the outbreak of control of the epidemic.

It is the tenth Ebola epidemic of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the second deadliest recorded after an outbreak that affected West Africa during 2014-16 and claimed more than 11,300 lives.

Since January 1 of this year, the World Health Organization says it has documented more than 300 attacks on health care that have caused 6 deaths and 70 injuries of health care workers and patients in the country.

In line with recent recommendations from SAGE, the new vaccination initiative in the DRC will offer the Janssen investigational vaccine regimen to individuals at some risk of Ebola infection who live in areas close to the current outbreak zone, with the goal of preventing the further geographic spread of the virus.

People often refuse to give up the traditional funeral rites that involve kissing, washing and touching the body. Some people even feel Ebola is a hoax created by medics to get well-paid jobs.

The Congolese medical authorities said Saturday (Nov 2) they had received the first shipment of a new Ebola vaccine as the central African country battles its second deadliest outbreak of the virus this decade.

It will complement a first vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV-GF, manufactured by the United States firm Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD), used in Ebola-infected areas to protect those who may have come into contact with victims of the disease.

The vaccine - an experimental product developed by USA pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson - is to be used to protect those living outside of direct Ebola transmission zones.

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