Violent Conflict In The Congo Is Hampering Efforts To Fight Ebola Outbreak

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Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from internet essentials from Comcast. Connecting more than six million low income people to low cost high speed internet at home. So students are ready for homework class graduation and more. Now, they're ready for anything in central Africa. There's a terrible convergence of violent conflict. That's been going on for years meets deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus, this is all happening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Which is where we reached Dr Janet Diaz she's with the World Health organizations health emergencies program, and she's been working at the center of the Bulla outbreak in the city of Beni where eight UN peacekeepers were killed yesterday. There are reports of another attack on peacekeepers today. I asked Dr Diaz how the dangerous conditions affect her daily work. So our day starts where we have security reports in the morning about seven o'clock or six thirty in the morning telling us what the security situation is whether. Or not we can move or not move. What time we can move. If it safe. He usually things are okay. I go straight to the treatment unit where I work with national doctors doctors from many during the day, there may be security problems that we hear them if things change we have to move or leave the treatment unit than we just do what we're told him to make sure that everyone. Stay safe, treating Bola is complicated and involves risks even without the threat of violence. I understand you're taking some new approaches in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of tell us what you're doing differently, and whether it's having an impact. So the major things that we've done as an international community is to try to bring optimal supportive care to in a bowl outbreak. And so one of the most novel things that has happened is with the new type of isolation unit, which is called a cube where you can actually provide very close monitoring and very intensive care to the patients that are being cared for there in that has really improved. Quality of care that we are able to provide the disease transmits through body fluids. And so typically doctors would be wearing a big body suit. So they don't get infected and you're saying now doctors don't always have to put on a bodysuit the person can be in kind of like a plastic almost like a box and the doctor uses gloves through that isolation chamber. Yes. So there is doctors inside that a wearing that full protective gear, and then there's other doctors or nurses outside that can be talking to the doctor insight into the patient and supporting them without having to be inside in all the protective gear also physically being able to put their hands inside in just infusion monitors or drip, sir. Take a blood pressure without having to be inside. So that makes us able to give better supportive care. I understand you're using new drugs and vaccines as well. Tell us about that the new medicines that we're using they're not approved three bullet because there's not enough clinical trials to show their effective. So when you have drugs that have not been shown yet. Approved for a disease than you use them under a compassionate use protocol. And these drugs have promising studies based on animal data in laboratory data. So what we got was permission from the committee ethical committee of the Congo to use these potentially life-saving therapeutics in patients in the DRC. So so far we've used us in about one hundred and fifty one patients the vaccines in regards to the vaccine the vaccine is also an investigational intervention, and they're using the same protocol that they used been west Africa, which is vaccinated context context context for the people living in areas affected by Bala don't trust government officials or health workers tell us about that. And what impact it has on your efforts to fight this disease? That is one of the most difficult challenges. I think the outbreak has faced the distrust, I think the worst part is that patients don't come. They are scared or they don't believe and then they don't come seek care. And if they finally do see care they see care when it's too late and Ebola is a devastating disease. So if you arrive too late like than the surviving are very low and in the interim, you know, whether scared and not coming to the center, and they're sick that risks exposing other people in the community or their families to the disease immense spreading the infection. So the distrust or the resistances is a major player in keeping the epidemic going Dr Janet of WHO's health emergencies program. Thank you so much for speaking with us today. My pleasure. Thank you.

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