Health Care

World Health Organization suspends Ebola work in Congo amid militant attacks

World Health Organization suspends Ebola work in Congo amid militant attacks”

In addition to the known fatalities, dozens of civilians were wounded as they fled the violence, which broke out in the early hours of Saturday evening and lasted until midnight, Bin Hangi added.

This points to an increasingly worrisome security situation across the country. The disease is spreading in the Nord-Kivu and Ituri provinces of DRC - the most insecure areas of the country where at least two rebel groups are active. These suspensions have disrupted aid to thousands of people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The group is providing food, household items, education and legal counselling in the region.

Speaking to journalists at the United Nations in Geneva, Dr Salama noted that the worldwide response to the major public health threat had been excellent and that donors have responded "very quickly and generously" to this latest outbreak, which is DRC's tenth since the 1970s.

"We call on the global community to continue to fund the response", he said, "both in North Kivu, but also, and this is increasingly important, in the neighbouring provinces of the Kivus and Ituri, and in surrounding countries".

"We share your sorrow".

An initial army estimate put the toll at 18 dead, including 14 civilians and four soldiers, but later raised it to 21, including 17 civilians.

The ADF rebels attacked a military position and the battle caused the deaths.

Teams of health care personnel in areas outside Beni are continuing to conduct field work, including providing vaccinations, according to WHO.

Ebola's devastating power was proved during a harrowing 30-month period between 2014 and 2016 when it swept across West Africa, killing more than 11,000 and infecting 28,000.

Deadly: Eastern DR Congo is struggling with militia violence and an outbreak of Ebola. It came just months after the previous outbreak in May, which claimed the lives of 33 people.

The ADF is one of a number of armed groups that hold territory in the eastern DR Congo and are battling for control of the region's rich mineral resources. More than 1 million internally displaced people are in North Kivu and Ituri, according to World Health Organization; the movement of refugees through and out of the provinces is a potential risk factor for spread of Ebola.

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