Three dead in attacks against Ebola response centers in Congo

Thursday November 28 2019

DRC ebola red zone

Health workers are seen inside the 'red zone' of an Ebola treatment centre, which was attacked in the early hours of the morning in Butembo, March 9, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN WESSELS | AFP 

REUTERS
By REUTERS
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Three health workers were killed and several injured in attacks against two Ebola response centers in eastern Congo early on Thursday, authorities and health services said.

Violence and unrest have severely hampered efforts to contain the second worst Ebola epidemic on record, which has killed 2,199 people since the outbreak was announced in August 2018.

A local militia known as Mai Mai has repeatedly attacked health facilities because they believe Ebola does not exist, and that the response is a plot to eliminate the local population.

The Mai Mai simultaneously attacked Ebola treatment centers in Mangina in North Kivu and Byakoto in Ituri, said Jean-Jacques Muyembe, head of the Ebola response for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It is a blow to the Ebola response because we were eradicating the disease. These attacks are challenging the efforts to date,” Muyembe said.

Police said the three dead were World Health Organization (WHO) workers.

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New infections have been on the decline since August, with just 70 cases identified in all of October, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Monday.