Attacks on Ebola responders in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

World Health Organization

Attacks
on Ebola responders in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dead and
injured following attacks on Ebola responders in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo

28 November
2019 – Two attacks in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have killed 4
workers responding to the Ebola outbreak and injured 5 others.

The attacks
occurred overnight on a shared living camp in Biakato Mines and an Ebola
response coordination office in Mangina.

“We are
heartbroken that people have died in the line of duty as they worked to save
others,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization
Director-General. “The world has lost brave professionals.”

The dead
include a member of a vaccination team, two drivers and a police officer.
Although no WHO staff are among those killed, one staff member was injured.
Most of the other injured people are from the Ministry of Health.

“My heart
goes out to the family and friends of the first responders killed in these
attacks,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “We are
doing everything possible to bring the injured and front-line workers in the
impacted areas to safety. These constant attacks must stop. We will continue to
work with the DRC Government, partners and MONUSCO to ensure the security of
our staff and other health workers.”

In the last
week, there were 7 cases of Ebola, down from a peak of over 120 per week in
April 2019.

“Ebola was retreating. These attacks will give it force again, and more people will die as a consequence,” said Dr Tedros. “It will be tragic to see more unnecessary suffering in communities that have already suffered so much. We call on everyone who has a role to play to end this cycle of violence.”

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