The Ebola outbreak in the northeast of the DRC, the country’s 10th and the secondlargest in world history, claimed the lives of 2,287 of the 3,324 patients affected. The 11th outbreak, in Équateur Province, affected 13 of the province’s 18 health zones, with 130 confirmed cases and 55 deaths.
372,848 people have been vaccinated against Ebola (including 39,859 in Équateur).
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS’ RESPONSE
During the 11th outbreak, International Medical Corps’ Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) managed more than 900 patients at Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) in Bikoro, Mbandaka and Buburu, including 29 confirmed cases.
On June 30, when the Mangina ETC in the northeast was decommissioned, the facility had cared for 3,859 suspected and 422 confirmed Ebola patients.
International Medical Corps is providing infection prevention and control (IPC) support to 196 health facilities to ensure that healthcare delivery is safe, including 20 new facilities in Équateur.
Since August 21, 2018, screening and referral units (SRUs) supported by International Medical Corps have provided more than 2 million screenings for Ebola and 1.2 million screenings for COVID-19.
COVID-19 Response in the DRC
DRC follows the global trend of rising COVID-19 cases, indicating the existence of a second wave of the virus though although no cases of the new variant, which is believed to have originated in South Africa, have been observed in the DRC. In December 2020, the country recorded the highest number of new infections in a single month (4,841) since the beginning of the pandemic, more than triple the number of cases reported in November. The total number of infections currently stands at 17,700 cases.
In light of these developments, the DRC government has reinforced control measures to limit the spread of the virus, such as instituting a nighttime curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., mandatory wearing of masks in public spaces and limiting the number of participants in training sessions and workshops to 10. International Medical Corps continued to strengthen the Ministry of Health’s capacity to screen, isolate and manage suspect and confirmed cases at health facilities by training health staff and providing mentorship and coaching, and to reduce the risk of infection among frontline health workers.
International Medical Corps also continues to implement community awareness and sensitization activities via radio spots, bulk SMSs and mobile caravans. Thanks to a donation of masks from MiMask, we were able to distribute this key element of personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health workers in Munzenze prison and four other health facilities in Goma.