Democratic Republic of the Congo – Ebola Outbreak Fact Sheet #2, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (November 29, 2019)

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 29 Nov 2019

HIGHLIGHTS

• Insecurity in Beni Territory restricts access to areas with new EVD cases, jeopardizing fragile gains in EVD response

• WHO and health actors continue to note persistent response gaps even as weekly EVD caseloads decline

• DART travels to Butembo to monitor USAID/OFDA-supported partner activities

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

• The U.S. Government (USG) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other response actors continue to emphasize that the ongoing Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is not yet under control, despite a continued decline in weekly caseloads during November. From November 18 to 24, the most recent epidemiological week, the Government of the DRC (GoDRC)’s Ministry of Health (MoH) recorded seven new EVD cases—the lowest weekly caseload to date in 2019. However, response actors note that continued gaps in infection prevention and control (IPC) and surveillance—which have been compounded by access constraints in EVDaffected areas in recent weeks—indicate that unknown chains of transmission persist.

• The UN reports that increased violence in North Kivu Province’s Beni Territory is restricting responders’ access to areas with recently recorded EVD cases, raising concerns that disruptions to critical response activities—including case investigation, contact tracing, and vaccination—could hinder the detection of additional cases, potentially resulting in increased EVD transmission in the coming weeks.

• Community mistrust of response teams—resulting from insufficient community engagement prior to initiating response activities—also continues to prevent health actors from accessing EVD hotspots, including Mandima Health Zone’s Lwemba health area,
Ituri Province. Health actors report that at least two recently detected EVD cases were epidemiologically linked to Lwemba; however, EVD responders have lacked sustained access to the health area since mid-September.