After the 11th Ebola outbreak was declared in the DRC on 1 June 2020, international aid and health organisations mobilised together with local health authorities to stem the spread of Ebola in the northwestern Équateur Province.
To date, health efforts have been largely successful: there have been far fewer cases than in the 10th Ebola outbreak, which occurred in north-eastern DRC. The mortality rate, while still high, is significantly lower (45%, compared to 67% during the 10th Ebola outbreak). There have also been few reported cases of violence against health workers, compared to over 400 reported from eastern DRC. The general security context and better community relations are contributing factors to the more peaceful health response.
Nevertheless, local health efforts in Équateur Province in the context of the DRC’s 11th Ebola outbreak have been accompanied by violent industrial strikes by local health workers, as well as allegations of corruption and fraud involving high-ranking local health officials, spurring mentions in the media of the existence of an “Ebola business”. Local newspapers reported that “humanitarian workers” were threatened by striking local health agents in several health zones.
Insecurity Insight is monitoring local reactions and discussions on the social media platform Facebook to better understand how these developments may impact aid programmes operating in the region.