This morning's key titles from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Ebola outbreak in DR Congo now spreads exponentially faster
- Local DRC population gives little cooperation to health officials
Ebola outbreak in DR Congo now spreads exponentially
One woman is crying during the funeral of a child suspected of Ebola death. (Reuters)
The number of Ebola cases registered each day in the DRC has doubled, indicating that it could spread to other regions and other countries.
According to Jean-Philippe Marcou, the country's Mercy Corps directories in the DRC: "It is now doubling – it is very possible to double again. If we do not significantly increase resources, it will continue to increase. It will spread gradually to other health areas and will be there for a long time.
If this doubling continues, it will represent exponential growth.
The current epidemic of Ebola in the DRC began in July 2018 and is now the largest in the history of the country and the second largest in the world. According to the country's health ministry, on January 17, 2019, there were 668 cases and 410 deaths in the outbreak.
The cases are centered in two northeastern provinces, North Kivu and Iturou, which is a military zone in an extremely violent continuing ethnic civil war. Cases outside the DRC have not yet been identified, but an increasing spread of the disease raises fears that it will soon travel to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and even to South Sudan.
The epidemic was initially concentrated in Benny. a population of 232,000 people. But it has spread to Butebbo, with a population of more than a million people, a densely populated commercial town near the Ugandan border. Further south along the Butembo highway are the populated millions of cities Goma and Bukavu. The World Health Organization (WHO) concentrates its efforts to prevent the spread in the last two cities, as "all bets are excluded" to stop the epidemic if it gets there.
The problem is that the ongoing war causes the disease to spread in an uncontrolled and unexpected way. The result is that new cases of Ebola continue to occur in unpredictable places and people
Medical professionals typically use contact tracking to identify potential transmission chains before they occur. Once a person is suspected of having Ebola, all people with whom he may have been contacted are identified and receive a vaccine. But ongoing warfare often makes it impossible to track contacts, as a result of which nearly 70% of newly discovered cases have fallen out of known transmission chains. Another problem is that rape is a common phenomenon in each military zone, and so the gun can spread among women, soldiers, gangs, gun smugglers and rapists. More than one third of Ebola cases were in children, and most of the identified adult infections were in women
The WHO predicts that the outbreak will last for six months or even longer. But even if the epidemic can be quickly curtailed – and can not – then it can be resumed quickly because the disease can be sexually transmitted within 18 months of curing the individual and can pass from pregnant mothers to their fruits. Guardian (London) and the Kaiser Foundation and the Daily Mail (London)
The local population of the DRC, which provides little cooperation to health officials
The local population in the North Kivu military zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo often refuses to collaborate with health officials to stop the epidemic. Even worse, health officials have been kidnapped or killed by armed groups and treatment centers have been searched.
There are several questions:
- The best tools to prevent the further spread of Ebola are tracking contracts and quarantining people who may be sick to block the transmission chains. But in the area of North Kivu, torn by the war, there is neither the freedom of movement nor the social compliance necessary for that.
- The capital of DRC Kinshasa is thousands of kilometers from the area of the outbreak and the government is still in crisis because the winner of the presidential election is still in doubt so it is not clear who in the DRC is even responsible for resolving the Ebola problem.
- Health authorities complain that the Trump administration has decided a few months ago that the security situation is too risky to allow all US government officials, including veterans of the ECB, in North Kivu.
- There have been United Nations peacekeepers in the region for years after the start of the civil war, but there is no peace to preserve, and anyway
- Merck produces the experimental vaccine that is so successful in the defense against Ebola, shows no signs of an increase in vaccine production to complete or
It is interesting to track changes in public mood and attitude towards Ebola.
When the huge outburst began in West Africa in 2014, there were almost international changes. hysteria. It continued in 2015 and indeed subsided when the outbreak ended in 2016
At the beginning of 2018 there was an outbreak in the western DRC (the other end of the country from the current outbreak). This has triggered international concern, but world health officials have ended quickly thanks to the new experimental vaccine.
Then, in July 2018, the new epidemic began in the eastern part of the DRC, in North Kivu. The active eruption of the Ebola became the "new normal" in the minds of the people and therefore there was no great concern or media coverage. And why should there be media coverage when there are more important topics: Brexit in Europe, America's border wall and closing Canadians in China.
But even among the locals in North Kivu, there seems to be little anxiety. Many people do not believe anything said by the US ministry, and they do not believe there is an epidemic of Ebola. Others just suggest that it will soon end, like the previous Ebola outbreaks. Others just have other concerns: beating, raping or shooting gangs or militant militants.
If several cases occur in neighboring countries, health officials will move quickly to keep them and will probably succeed because they are not in military zones. The real danger is that Ebola will become endemic in North Kivu and will become a constant source of infection that can last for years. Foreign Policy and Healing Without Borders (MSF)
Keys: Generation Dynamics, Ebola, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, North Kivu , Burns, Butembo, Gomma, Bukwau, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, World Health Organization, WHO, Merk, Centers for Disease Control, CDC, Doctors Without Borders, MSF Jean-
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