DR Congo Ebola Clinic in North Kivu Attacked


More than one thousand people have died from Ebola over the past ten months in the Democratic Republic of Congo health workers trying to contain the deadly disease are also under attack on Wednesday militia fighters killed at least eight people in the city of Tembo in the heart of the Bulla outbreak for the latest on how violence against health workers is complicating efforts to combat the disease. We now go to Tarek REBA. He's a field director at the International Rescue Committee, and is currently working on the bull response in the DRC. Welcome to the takeaway Tareq, thanks for having me was this latest attack related to A Bola. What what can you tell us about this attack? We've still gathering information on it that does seem to be some indications that it was once again linked directly to the abode response. But we don't have conclusive information. But yes, there's information pointing to that. What can you tell us about health workers and how they're being attacked right now. I think there's been sort of a gathering storm over several months now and been lots of accusations and rumors about certain activities such as back Saination where people feel that brother than helping them the vaccine may actually be sort of olitical ploy to inject them with A Bola that may be a little reasons for why this response is happening part of this is the cancelling of the election the national election, which was due in December and was held everywhere except in ten and Benny the areas directly affected by the response. And angered a lot of people who felt that they lost the right to vote because of a disease that they're not sure actually exists. How has the conflict in this area impacted efforts to contain Ebola requires a nuance dancer because actually was not necessary conflict area, but the wider area of North Kivu the province of North Korea where this outbreak is often. Of course has been for about twenty five years now. So there's a heavy presence of I'm groups what this does on a day to day basis is that obviously are operating an environment of insecurity and work in that sort of general sense of conflict, how quickly is the disease spreading, and what's the scale essentially of this outbreak right now at this point. This is the second largest outbreak in history. After the great west Africa at them from twenty fourteen fifteen in terms of the transmission rates had been some hope few months ago. But the last three or four months have seen continual increase daily renumber 's we've now had a record of twenty seven cage on a single day. But we've had a number of twenty plus days in the past weeks. We've always known that even when we reach those numbers. There's a lot of transmission that goes undetected. So even when we say twenty seven day that could have been far more cases possibly double as many. So that would put you out of very very high rate of transmission, it would also mean that we basically are complete the unable to to understand how that transmission is happening. And at those numbers, your it requires an enormous response both in terms of being able to detect those cases and being able to work with the communities so that they are transferred. So I think. In terms of level of alarm saw. No, one years bad as west Africa yet, but we should be very very alarmed about the situation right now, there is a vaccine that at least as being used on an investigative basis. Tell us about the vaccine and how successful it's been so far. So I think the vaccine we didn't have it in west Africa. I worked at IBM at the time. And I do think it has been a very useful tool. Especially in the initial months when we look at the one positive thing of this outbreak. It would be the geographic footprint, which has been relatively small all things considered and part of that could be attributed to the success of the vaccination in the in the beginning months of the outbreak. We've also had some recent studies that have come out of the vaccine about one hundred thousand doses have now been administered since the start of this outbreak in August. So we have quite a sample size. Now initial results are very positive positive possibly even more than we would have hoped for us on the one hand they show that those. That are vaccinated have a much lesser probability of contracting Bola. And Secondly in the second finding is more interesting and unexpected is that even for people that may have contracted bowl at the time of their survival rate goes up significantly, so there's a very positive findings. And now we need to make sure the community understands the benefits of axons action. Because recently, we have seen a number people refusing vaccination there a number that circulate around possible malicious intense behind the backs of nation, and that has caused a lot of people into area now to not want to be accented. Where's this infamous information coming from? I know the questions of room is very complicated. One we've been dealing with this this very much been politicized Asian around the rumors. So as mentioned, I think the election is one point clear contention that because this is a largely opposition held area. That may be for example. Uil a intent against those people for being positioned supporters. So a lot of those rumors come from there. And I do think we didn't do a good job of tackling them. And we need to improve in our community engagement in terms of working with communities in dispelling, the rumors and being very transparent and being very clear not messaging where do you see the bullet crisis headed after this? I think there's a reason for pessimism at the moment. The number of targeted incidents in the Tampa area has made it almost impossible to work. We're trying to resume and now we have renewed incident again, which is base. So I think for number of us. It's very difficult to see how things can move forward

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