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Too many of the Ebola epidemic in Congo are dying at home



BENI, Congo (AP) – Two-month-old Lahiya Katembo became an orphan in a day. Her mother surrendered to Ebola on Saturday morning. At dusk, her father was also dead.

They were sick for more than a week before health workers finally persuaded them to seek treatment, neighbors said. They believed that their illness was the work of men jealous of their newborn daughter, said the organizer of the community and sought the guidance of a traditional spiritual healer.

The eruption of Ebola in the eastern Congo ravages Benny, a city of about 600,000, to a great extent, because so many of the patients choose to stay at home. In this way they unintentionally infect the caregivers and those who complain about them.

"People wait until the last minute to bring their family members, and when they do, it's complicated for us," says Matthew Canyamah, head of health promotion at Benny's Ebony Treatment Center, run by the Alliance for international medical activities, or by ALIMA. "Here are doctors, not magicians."

Nearly one year of the outbreak that killed more than 1

,700 and declared a global emergency health situation this month, the increase in community death is fueling the resumption of Ebola in Benny. Only in a two-week period in July 30 people die home.

Health teams are now going from door to door with megaphones trying to get the message out.

"Behind every dead person there is someone who develops a fever," says Dr Gustan Tsapenda, who runs Ebola's response to Benny for the Congolese Health Ministry

Many people still do not believe Ebola is real, they say health experts who stimulate efforts to control the symptoms of ebola are also similar to ordinary killers such as malaria and typhus typhus, so those who are afraid to go to a healing center often try to self-medicate at home with paracetamol, to reduce the temperature.

But the Ebola, unlike no these other illnesses require the patient to be kept in isolation and away from family comfort.

Dr. Maurice Kakule, who became one of the first Ebola patients in this outbreak after treating a sick woman in his clinic, now is trying to make it easier for those who are sick to get help in and around Benny near the Ugandan border. [19659002] He and other survivors who are now immune to the disease run an ambulance with a motorcycle taxi. After receiving a phone call for help, they go to the homes, soothe the sick and take them for medical help without infecting others.

People's most widespread fear is that they will leave a center for treatment of an ebola only in a body pouch, says Kakule.

"Some have heard about the Ebola problem, but they have not survived in their family," he said. "Because they have relatives, they die in a healing center, they think that people are killed there, and so they definitely refuse to go."

They are also afraid that they will die alone, surrounded only by medical personnel covered in defense transmission from head to toe.

To try to humanize the care of the patients in isolation, Alimah's helix treatment center in Bennie accommodates some patients in their transparent room called "CUBA," where they can see visitors from their beds. Others share a room with another patient and a glass window where close people can be assembled.

Although there is no licensed treatment for the Ebola, patients in eastern Congo are able to participate in clinical trials. This is a welcome change from the 2014-2016 epidemic in West Africa, when many patients entered centerboards to avoid getting back alive. More than 11,000 people have died.

However, the measures necessary to prevent the spread of the Ebola remain difficult for many people to accept.

"We can not forget the fact that when you are sick of Ebola, you are placed somewhere away from your family, with 50% chance of dying alone by your loved ones," said Dr. Joan Liu, President of Doctors without borders, "which helps fight the epidemic. "I do not blame people for not finding this attractive despite the fact that we have a clinical trial."

The day after the death of the parents of the baby Lahia, a morgue in protective clothing carried their carefully dressed bodies to a funeral procession truck a Muslim cemetery at the end of the city.

In the background, there was the sound of the workers who pushed as they built more space in the nearby treatment center to pick up the increasing number of cases.

Lahya developed a fever but tested negative for Ebola. The baby with round cheeks and golden earrings is currently in an orphanage, while its 3-year-old nurse takes care of neighbors who hope to grow both.

But the sisters will have to wait a little longer for you to be reunited – their adoptive father and ex-nanny have tested positively for the Ebola and are being treated.

The fateful decision to avoid treatment centers is to persecute survivors like 24-year-old Asifie Kavira, who has fled Ebola with eight of his relatives.

Health teams came to the house in Buteham, trying to persuade them to seek treatment. But most of the family said they wanted to treat their fever home. After three days of talks, Cavira finally agreed to seek help, believing he was on the brink of death.

She'll be the only one who survives.

Her mother, grandmother, brother, and four other relatives all died at home. An older sister joined her in the healing center, but medical help came too late.

"I now tell people that the Ebola exists," says Cavira, "because I have lost all my family."

___ [19659002] The Associated Press writers Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro in Benny, Congo and Maria Cheng London contributed to this report.


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