A. Situation analysis
Description of the Disaster
In a statement issued on 23 April 2022, the National Minister of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, notified a positive case of Ebola virus disease, which indicates a resurgence of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the province of Equateur. This is the 14th outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1976.
This new outbreak of the Ebola virus occurred in the health zone of Wangata, in the city of Mbandaka. According to the authorities, this case is a 31-year-old student, hospitalized on 19 April 2022 at the Wangata General Hospital. The patient died of haemorrhage on 21 April at the Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) of Wangata General referral Hospital (HGR). A blood sample and a swab were taken on the same day by the team of HGR Wangata. Tested in Mbandaka and at the ETC Wangata, both samples came back positive. Sent to the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) in Kinshasa for quality control, they again tested positive for the Ebola virus.
According to the case description, the story goes back to 5 April 2022, when the student had a fever and headache. Assuming he had a simple malaria, he received a home treatment which was unsuccessful. On 16 April, following the persistent fever, he developed physical asthenia and vomiting and spent 3 days at the Bongisa Libota health centre before being transferred to HGR Wangata. According to the statements of the patient and his family, the hypothesis of contamination is not linked to the notion of any known contact with a deceased animal, or a patient.
A preliminary listing throughout the entire city of Mbandaka and the surrounding area of 145 contacts is conducted, including: caregivers, visitors, family members and other patients hospitalized in the same centre as the confirmed case during the same period.
The city of Mbandaka is the capital of Equateur province and is subdivided into 3 health zones (Mbandaka with 15 health areas, Wangata with 11 health areas and Bolenge with 11 health areas). The city of Mbandaka is located across the Congo River by its waterway, 400 km from Bolomba where there are 4 contacts, 280 km from Ingende where one more suspicious contact was found, 700 km from Kinshasa the capital of the country, 1,000 km from Kisangani, and across the river from the Republic of Congo/ Brazzaville.
The epicentre is in the Wangata Health Zone, and the positive case was found in the Bosomba health area.
According to the Ministry of Health during the provincial coordination meeting held on April 26, the epidemiological situation is as follows:
The city of Mbandaka has many communication and mobile telephone infrastructure with a presence of community and commercial radios, television channels and mobile networks such as Airtel, Vodacom and Orange which are the sources of information and interaction between people. Most of the mass media, including community radio, have supported previous EVD response operations through interactive programs, promoting preventive measures and care, in addition to supporting people who have recovered to better reintegrate their communities. However, the city of Mbandaka has low access to electricity and the use of generators is a common practice even for traditional media. The radio remains one of the trusted sources of information for people in the DRC. The city of Mbandaka is also a centre of trade with several cities of the country located along the Congo River (Kinshasa, Kisangani, Lisala, Boende), as well as neighbouring countries such as the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.