Ebola Epidemic in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a "Health Emergency of International Interest" . One year after the beginning of the last wave of infection in the country, on 1 August 2018, the epidemic is far from under control. The two recent episodes recorded across the border with Uganda (19459003) and Goma (19459003), a city of over one million inhabitants and an international airport (19459004), have created the highest institution in the world to sound the alarm
"It is time for the world to acknowledge the emergency and double its efforts," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lamented the late funding that has hindered a response to the pandemic so far. Ghebreyesus publicly praised the Congolese government, which is doing everything in its power to ensure "maximum collaboration and unparalleled transparency with daily WHO updates".
To create an inventory of the situation, ilfattoquotidiano.it requested the vice-president of Msf Italia the dott. Ruggero Giuliani an infectious disease physician who worked in Monrovia and Liberia during the previous pandemic in West Africa: " We are facing an out of control The epidemic ̵
In order to avoid the failure of the intervention to contain the spread d influencing the epidemic, however, also encountered factors outside the medical field: "The centers are considered hostile, and there is the instability caused by the armed groups . And then there is the political discourse in connection with elections : In the affected areas (traditionally anti-governmental), the vote was postponed to a certain date for reasons of official avoidance of contagion. Our Red Zone Centers have been set on fire, MSF has had to withdraw from the area, but we continue to work in Ituri Province and Goma Province. Also tracking down contacts is complicated because of high mobility of the population and difficulty of access to some areas for uncertainty. And so the contacts are lost. "
However, if we have proceeded to date and only intervened in confirmed infections, the Italian doctor hopes for a more comprehensive measure. we ask for a change of strategy in ring vax which is to vaccinate the contacts of a patient and the contacts of contacts. Not effective in this context . We have to try mass vaccinations at least in the hardest hit areas. 150,000 people have been vaccinated so far an important effort. That is not enough. The focus must be on the patient and the communities, with restrictive measures such as the blocking of roads and borders having the opposite effect. And then it is fundamental to inform people, because the acceptance of care is based on the understanding of the disease.
And while in Geneva the global alert was triggered, Uganda received the confirmation of a second case a month after the first infection across the border: even in this case – as a joint press release It was a Congolese woman who crossed the border on July 11. When she returned to Beni the following day, she was diagnosed with Ebola : She was immediately hospitalized and died on July 15. The woman had not passed the border checkpoint where the temperature control is active and would have been identified. "So far, it says in the statement, it does not seem to be so Ugandans suffer from Ebola, but as a precaution, people who have come into contact with the patient are vaccinated and prevention measures intensified.
???????? Currently there is no confirmed Ebola case in Uganda pic.twitter.com/Uxc9IMvLmp
– Ministry of Health – Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) July 17, 2019
Fears also spread the neighbor from Rwanda (of which Goma is a border town), reinforced by a small thriller: in yesterday appeared two reports on one of the official WHO pages – he writes Reuters – after which the woman, before she died, could have gone to Goma and also crossed the border with Rwanda. A document also says that health workers have difficulty tracking down the people the woman came in contact with and that many refuse to cooperate . The reports would have been published without the approval of Geneva headquarters, which hastened to remove them and shut down the site, stating that "the two Management Reports incorrectly contained unverified information."
Un Italians currently in Goma reached from ilfattoquotidiano.it describes a contradictory situation: "Life goes on as usual, without any special precautions, but there are concerns. Instead, at the airport and at customs, there are many controls, the temperature is being measured, and anyone who has a fever is immediately isolated for 21 days. "And he explains," There are many stories around Ebola, too many stories since the election campaign, when in Goma (without ever having had a suspect) people were afraid chlorine at the entrances From the churches of the markets of the stores we have We always washed our hands. Then the population concluded that it was a fraud before the elections. The fear has returned with the new case. Many ask for the vaccine and do not understand why only a few have access to it. The people are angry.