Health Care

Rwanda reopens border with Congo after global criticism

Rwanda reopens border with Congo after global criticism”

Rwanda has reopened its border with DR Congo, which was temporarily closed in order sensitize people on signs and dangers of Ebola virus and measures to prevent themselves from being infected.

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The closure comes after a man died of Ebola in Congo's major city of Goma, which is on the Rwandan border. Investigators are now trying to track the man's movements to identify where he contracted the disease and who may have been exposed. Congo's presidency said the entire family was at "high risk" and in quarantine.

Goma had its second case of Ebola fever confirmed this week.

The first confirmed case in Goma was a 46-year-old preacher who managed to pass through three health checkpoints on the way from Butembo.

This outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people, almost a third of them children.

The WHO, which declared this year-long Ebola outbreak a global health emergency last month, has recommended against travel restrictions.

Some 45,000 people go through the main border post between the two per day, according to an immigration official. "Most of the women here cross into Rwanda to find food for us in Goma", he said.

The man in his 40s was a miner returning from an area of northeastern Ituri province, Mongwalu, where no Ebola cases in this outbreak have been recorded, World Health Organization said.

The emergence of the disease in Goma is a particular concern because experts fear the disease could spread out of control in this sprawling, densely-packed city.

The man arrived in Goma on July 13 and started showing symptoms on July 22.

However, not everybody is vaccinated - only those who come into direct contact with an Ebola patient, and people who come into contact with them.

While the alert prompted a surge of millions of dollars in new pledges by worldwide donors, health workers say a new approach is desperately needed to combat misunderstandings in the community that lead people with Ebola not to seek medical help.

June 4: The outbreak surpasses 2,000 confirmed Ebola cases.

The escalating crisis has led to a row within the DRC's health ministry, which is co-ordinating national efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

October 2: Red Cross workers are attacked by community members in an early sign of resistance to Ebola response efforts in a region where the virus had never been recorded before.

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