Dr Peter Salama, Ebola, Doctors Without Borders discussed on Morning Edition
Has broken out again in the Democratic Republic of, Congo so far the number of confirmed cases. More than seventy five since the start of this month is in line with previous flare ups in that country there are positive signs for an experimental treatment being used there but this outbreak comes with a dangerous twist it is in an eastern region or a violent conflict has also raging that's requiring health workers to come up. With some creative strategies for reaching people in, need NPR's Eisenman reports to get a sense. Of just how insecure this part of. The DRC can be consider, the experience of a top official in, the World Health Organization Dr Peter Salama. Just over a week ago, he stopped in at a, town called Benny that's near the. Epicenter of the operate and the night we were there wasn't a attack onto the internet twenty kilometers from where. We were. Staying that's about twelve miles away. At least. For five. People There are at least twenty armed rebel groups active in the area and they've also kidnapped. And killed humanitarian workers so far Salama nearly all Ebola cases in this outbreak have been, in towns and villages that health workers can get to relatively, safely as soon as they confirm a case. They've been rushing to find and vaccinate everyone that the sick person has had contact with and anyone who's had close contact with those contacts the vaccine is experimental and the strategy is called ring vaccination forming protective ring around that concerned case let last week officials got the kind of news they'd been dreading there was a confirmed. Case in a town called h. on which, is surrounded by violent insurgent forces a health. Team was able to travel there but. Only by getting an armed, escort of UN peacekeepers that's not ideal, says Salama certainly been too closely associated. With any fucking and Salama, says the WHO has already Decided they'll, have to suspend ring vaccination if a case surfaces. In a village. Or town that's too dangerous to visit long enough to meticulously trace the sick person's contacts instead they'll. Move to a less effective strategy basically making, a much briefer visit during which they'll just vaccinate anyone and everyone they come across before it's time to leave because we may have access for a couple of hours Vehicles discipline another, group that's having to tweak it's usually bullet fighting approach is Doctors Without Borders the organization has opened any bullet treatment facility in a town called Medina KARN Hoster. Is an emergency coordinator we have seventy beds Hoster says if this were a typically Bulla outbreak for every, patient that comes in she'd be sending a team back to their house. To decontaminate it especially trained group wearing protective suits who would spray down every, single surface, with chlorine to make sure that then the family can be reassured that it's safe for them to live in this. Place but many of, these families, live in areas that are too dangerous. For Doctors Without Borders to travel to especially since, it's against the group's policy to go in with armed guards and so one. Of, the things we've been thinking about is, having Sarava mock you know little house and then use it to teach families how they can decontaminate their homes themselves with a take home kit it might not be you know Professionally done the way we. Would do it but it would be much better than having nothing done to the house doctorswithoutborders is also, considering training patients who cover from Ebola to become ambassadors of a sort. Educating their communities about the disease when they go home but when it comes, to responding, to any Bola outbreak in a conflict zone she says if we don't find creative ways to deal with it.