Democratic Republic of The Congo Faces Ebola Outbreak
The Challenge And Our Response
International Medical Corps Scales Up Efforts as Additional Urban Cases of Ebola are Confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team is on the ground in Kinshasa to support Ebola response efforts, and is fully committed to mobilising a multi-disciplinary response. To prepare for a rapid scale-up of staff, International Medical Corps is coordinating with medical volunteer associations, clinical staff, and previous volunteers, many who deployed with the organisation during the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic. International Medical Corps stands ready to deploy shelters that can be used for screening, referral, and isolation in Ebola-affected areas. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is currently being procured, emergency lifesaving kits are being prepositioned, and the International Medical Corps Emergency Field Hospital is on standby, should it be needed.
What’s happening & where? On May 18th, the Ministry of Health confirmed 4 cases of Ebola in Mbandaka, a north-western city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This follows Ministry of Health reports of confirmed cases of Ebola in Iboko and Bikoro health zones, the latter 90 miles (145 kms) south of Mbandaka. Overall, the Ministry of Health has currently reported a total of 38 cases (suspected, probable & confirmed) of Ebola in DRC.
What are the potential consequences? The presence of Ebola in Mbandaka, a bustling port city which is home to over a million people, is an alarming development, one which changes the scale and scope of the response needed. The possibility of transmission via the Congo River, which provides transport to several national capitals and other large cities in the region, making it paramount that the virus is isolated and contained as quickly as possible.
How are you responding? International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team is on the ground in Kinshasa and Mbandaka and is working in support of the DRC Ministry of Health to mobilise a multi-disciplinary response to help save lives and contain the virus. This includes launching an Ebola training program for front-line healthcare workers, providing health facilities with the tools to fight infectious disease, and establishing screening, referral, and isolation units in Ebola-affected areas.
Do you have experience with Ebola? We have extensive experience and expertise in stopping the spread of Ebola, having responded in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali & Guinea-Bissau in the wake of the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic. With a team of over 1,500 staff we treated nearly 460 Ebola-positive patients in total in our five treatment units, assisted host governments in the prevention of further transmission of the virus, provided critical training to frontline health workers, and stayed after the outbreak to continue to build local health systems as well as provide mental health and psychosocial counselling to those affected by the deadly disease.
We Were There: Ebola in West Africa: After 28,000 cases and 11,000 deaths, the West Africa Ebola outbreak—the largest and deadliest in history—officially ended in late 2015 when Guinea was finally declared Ebola-free after two years of fighting the virus. One of the few international NGOs to treat patients afflicted with the virus at the source of the 2014 outbreak in West Africa, we worked in all three high-transmission countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia) and cared for more than 460 Ebola-positive patients through five Ebola treatment facilities.
Ebola Developments In DRC
International Medical Corps Ebola Response
We're transporting crucial health equipment and supplies to the Democratic Republic of Congo where an urban outbreak of Ebola has reached Mbandaka, a city of 1.2 million people.
6th June 2018
What We Know About Fighting Ebola
We talk with Dr Adam Levine, the technical lead of International Medical Corps’ Ebola response, about the challenges facing those preparing to respond to the rapidly escalating emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
24th May 2018