Due to tension among residents who were worried about the quick spread of the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) had to do something. The organization vaccinated over 1,300 people who possibly came in contact with the Ebola virus in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
During their statement, WHO said, “Ongoing vaccination activities have reached the majority (98%) of eligible contacts, and 1,314 contacts, and frontline workers (have been) vaccinated to date.”
The Ebola outbreak has remained a major cause for alarm in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo for a year, infecting 2,600 people and killing 1,700 people. Unfortunately, militia violence and local resistance to external intrusion have frustrated efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
A gold miner with a large family passed away after infecting many people with the virus in the lakeside city of Goma on the Rwandan border which has a population of around 2 million people. Ever since they learned about that, the entire city of Goma has been on the watch. Since the last report on the 2nd of August 2019, there have been no proven cases of Ebola reported in Goma.
The Institut National de Recherche Biomedicale reported four cases of the Ebola virus in DRC on the 1st of August 2018. Organizations, WHO included, immediately declared an Ebola outbreak even though the cause of the outbreak was still unknown. When WHO confirmed a case of Ebola in Goma on the 14th of July 2019, it declared the outbreak an international public health emergency, after declining to do so three times.
The Ebola virus has been a threat to the neighboring countries as well. In June 2019, a Congolese woman and her five-year-old grandson succumbed to Ebola after crossing the border to the neighboring country of Uganda. The Uganda Ministry of Health reported the third case of Ebola in mid-June. Following those cases, Kenya which is bordering Uganda to the East had to put in place measures to ensure that the virus did not cause many effects within its boundaries. The Ministry of Health in Kenya ensured that the screening exercise for all incoming passengers and travelers was ongoing and that Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) were available at the border.
More research showed that there was a concentration of Ebola cases in Ituri and North Kivu Provinces in the Eastern part of the country bordering Uganda. There were 89 confirmed deaths by the 5th of September 2018 and 357 deaths by the end of the year. The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, which had 11,325 deaths and a total of 28,652 cases, remains the worst in history. People are advised to take precautions to prevent the spread of Ebola.
This is what Uganda’s Minister for Health had to say concerning that, “I want the entire nation to observe a NO HANDSHAKING/body contact phase until we are Ebola free. I also want to appeal to you all to ALWAYS wash your hands with soap, jik and water. I appreciate all our partners for their tireless efforts to contain this outbreak.”
The experimental Ebola vaccine, which was developed by Mark, has been an effective tool to prevent the spread of the virus. Accessing the rural areas prone to violence is still a challenge. In more easily accessible areas, the vaccination exercise has been smooth leading to its success.