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Ebola outbreak in DRC is worsening

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society says the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is “worsening”.  

The DRC health ministry has reported that the death toll has risen to 1,008 and more than 1,450 cases have been registered since August 2018.

Photograph: World Health Organisation

Ebola treatment centres and health workers have repeatedly been subject to violence, complicating efforts to contain the deadly virus. 119 incidents have been reported since January. 

Many people are afraid to go to Ebola treatment centres because of the violence and choose to remain home instead, running the risk of infecting their family and neighbours.

One of the most recent attacks include a raid on a hospital in Butembo by heavily armed assailant, killing Richard Mouzoko, a Cameroonian World Health Organisation (WHO) doctor who was working on the Ebola repsonse. 

"The operating environment has become increasingly insecure and socio-politically complex. Insecurity remains a major impediment to ensuring timely response interventions in the affected communities," the WHO said in a press statement. 

Ebola broke out in North Kivu in August 2018 and spread to neighbouring province, Ituri. Both provinces have been affected by intercommunal violence and unrest.

This is the second deadliest Ebola outbreak after the first occurred in West Africa in 2014 which killed over 11,000 people by 2016.

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