EM19-001 DR of Congo

Following the notification of the 10th Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 1 August 2018 in the North- Kivu province, a strategic response plan was rapidly developed and implemented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with technical and financial partners. Typically, a good response can control the epidemic in 5–6 weeks when the activities are properly conducted, and the community appropriates the response. This was the case in almost all previous epidemics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

However, responding to the current outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces continues to prove challenging to contain as ongoing insecurity and pockets of community mistrust hamper response efforts. Current epidemiological analyses point to the following as the main drivers of disease transmission: (a) poor infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, (b) persistent delays in detection and isolation of new cases, (c) frequent community deaths (and subsequent contact with deceased), and (d) transmission within family and community networks.

With ongoing transmission accentuated by high density and mobility within communities, the risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces, as well as to neighbouring countries, remains very high. Exposure to EVD in public and private health facilities is likely one of the key factors leading to a disproportionate number of women and children being infected.

With respect to data from December 4, 2018, women accounted for 62% of the cases where sex was reported, and children under 15 years of age account for 24% of all confirmed cases.

ADRA-UK contributed from the emergency response fund.

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