Ebola continues to take lives in Congo as the outbreak continues. Recently, the Ebola outbreak in Congo spread to the eastern region of Goma, one of the main cities of Congo. According to an official announcement made by the World Health Organization (WHO), the arrival of the virus in the city raises the risk of it spreading to other countries since Goma is located near the border with Rwanda.
The issue is about to become an international threat, so U.N. officials decided to meet in Geneva to discuss the outbreak and try to come up with an effective solution. According to official numbers, the Ebola outbreak in Congo is the world’s second-worst epidemic, which has infected 2,500 people and killed 1,655.
Health workers are doing their best to keep the crisis under control, but the toxic environment created by armed militias and the communities’ mistrust obliterate any efforts.
Ebola Continues to Spread Across Congo
Goma is located more than 350 kilometers south of where the outbreak was first detected. Since the virus managed to travel so far, people became even more fearful that Ebola could spread outside the borders of Congo.
The virus was brought to Goma by a priest who traveled to Butembo and interacted with infected patients. Congo’s health ministry said: “Due to the speed with which the patient has been identified and isolated, as well as the identification of all bus passengers from Butembo, the risk of spreading to the rest of the city of Goma remains low.”
While Congo has the resources needed to combat the epidemic, including vaccines and special treatment units, the fight against Ebola is impeded by the mistrust between health workers and the community. Over the last weekend, two Ebola health workers died during an attack and the string of assaults does not show any signs of stopping any time soon.
Stephen D. James is a Senior Politics Reporter at Debate Report covering provincial and national politics, . Before joining Debate Report, Jeff worked on several provincial campaigns including Jack Layton. Stephen has worked as a freelance journalist in Toronto, having been published by over 20 outlets including CBC, the Center for Media and VICE.com.