The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the second largest country in Africa, is faced with a precarious health situation that requires medical and humanitarian support. Rich in natural resources, the DRC has been center stage for conflicts since the early 1990s. This gave rise to the substantial displacement of people and led to the destruction of health care facilities and public services. Cholera, measles and malaria epidemics are common throughout the entire country. The infant mortality rate of the country – 71 deaths per 1,000 – is one of the highest in the world. source
History: The Ebola virus was identified for the first time in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo). A fever hit in a village bordering the Ebola River. This first epidemic killed 318 people in Zaire and 284 in Sudan. Doctors sent on the spot have been identified by a virus, until now unknown. Outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever caused by Ebola occur mainly in Africa with a mortality rate of 55% to 60%, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control). According to the WHO, this figure can reach up to 90%.
Since June 2019, six confirmed EVD cases have been reported in previously unaffected areas or countries. On 12 June 2019, the Ugandan Ministry of Health reported three imported confirmed EVD cases in Kasese district of Uganda; two died in Uganda and one died following repatriation to DRC. On 30 June 2019, one confirmed EVD case, listed as a close contact in Beni, was reported in Ariwara Health Zone, which is close to the borders of Uganda and South Sudan. On 14 July 2019, a confirmed EVD case, infected in Butembo, was reported in Goma. The case was admitted to the Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Goma and died during transfer back to an ETC in Butembo. Source
On 11 July 2019, a Congolese trader, displaying symptoms consistent with Ebola, visited Uganda. The patient was symptomatic in Uganda, travelled back to Beni in DRC, tested positive for Ebola in an ETC in Beni and died there. To date, viral circulation in the community has been persistent in previously affected areas, but the epidemiological situation varies in the affected health zones and neighboring countries at a significant distance from the epicentre demonstrate the potential of the current EVD outbreak for regional spread. Source
The Ebola outbreak in the DRC has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) following the recommendations of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee on 17 July 2019. The introduction of Ebola virus disease (EVD) is expected to continue. The Committee recognized the potential increase of national and regional risks and the need for intensified and coordinated action to manage these risks. source