DR Congo

DRC: Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak - Operation Update Report ° 1, DREF Operation n° MDRCD034

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Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

The DRC Red Cross is issuing this Operational Update to inform stakeholders and partners of the teams' mobilization and capacity-strengthening carried out in the epicentre of the outbreak in Bustili, Kanzulinzuli, and Bundji health areas in Beni Health Zone. Indeed, several additional cases have been recorded since the launch of this operation on 19 October. The Operation Update expands to cover also informs seven (7) neighbouring health zones with preparedness actions, particularly the health zones of Butembo, Katwa, Mabalako, Oicha (North Kivu province) and Mandima, Mambasa, and Komanda (Ituri Province).

As planned in the EPoA, these actions aim at containing the movement of contact cases in the areas, while ensuring the promotion of good health and hygiene practices linked to Ebola but also the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the monitoring community health events in the affected and at-risk populations. Thus, through this update, the following changes will be implemented:

  • Expanding the response to all 19 health areas in the Beni health zone, thus increasing the direct operational target from 305,769 people to 671,213 people for the response and preparedness zones and reinforcing response capacities in seven neighbouring health zones to Beni.

  • Consolidating the SDB capacity, through the training and mobilization of additional volunteers, as well as the increasing availability of SDB equipment.

  • Strengthening community health capacities, using the EPiC model, to increase the detection capacity in the community (a weakness of the response so far).

  • Redefine RCCE strategy by increasing the team capacities to use RCCE approaches with an emphasis on mass communication through the radio, the feedback system including the reinforcing interpersonal communication skills, which are necessary for effective continuation of health education actions around EVD and other potentially epidemic diseases of interest to affected and at-risk groups, while ensuring good community engagement and participation.

  • Extending the implementation timeframe by three months, to include the 90 days post-epidemic monitoring activities, provided no new positive cases are registered. To note, no positive case has been recorded since 30 October.

  • Inform of the second allocation of CHF 379,544 to the operation, for a total grant of CHF 689,549.

Based on the changes mentioned above, the new end date for this operation is 30 April 2022, for an overall implementation timeframe of six months.

A. ANALYSIS ON THE SITUATION

Description of the disaster

On 8 October 2021, the Beni health zone in North Kivu province recorded a case of Ebola virus disease. According to the authorities, the history of cases indicates that from 5th to 7th September 2021, three (3) suspected cases were discovered in the Butsili health area, Beni health zone in Beni Territory (North Kivu Province). All three patients died of bloody diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. On 7th October 2021, a sample of oropharyngeal secretions was taken from the fourth case and was sent to the laboratories of the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) for analysis. This case was declared positive for the Ebola virus on 8 October 2021.

As of 20 November, at the moment of updating this operation, the epidemiological situation according to the Health Ministry of Health as follows: (see table on p.2)

On 19 October, this DREF Operation was launched with an allocation of CHF 310,005 received from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). With the spread of the outbreak from its epicentre in Butsili, into two additional health areas including, Kanzulunzuli and Bundji in Beni Health Zone, the DRC Red Cross, through this operational update, intends to extend its response in all 19 health areas of Beni health zone, and increase response preparedness in areas around Beni (Oicha, Mabalako, Madima, Butembo, Komanda, Mambasa and Katwa).