A relative, albeit unpredictable, calm in Beni and Butembo has allowed for the resumption of near to normal operations. People continue to flee conflict hotspots which portends a high risk of disease spread as such events affect contact tracing, surveillance and vaccination activities.
The later part of the period under review has recorded some encouraging trends, including a fall in the number of new cases. WHO reports that the epidemiological week of 20 to 26 January 2020 saw the smallest number of cases reported since the beginning of the response.
Nevertheless, there have been some worrying updates like the new cases emerging in Beni. Of these cases “two individuals stayed four to five days in the community while symptomatic before isolation.” The decision to relocate the overall response coordination function from Goma to Beni is indeed timely.
World Vision launched a report “Fear and Isolation” in which children tell stories of the impact of Ebola, conflict and violence on their lives. This publication has raised awareness about this children’s crisis, to inform programme and policy improvement, in addition to focusing attention on the mental health of children.
The Ebola Vaccine Deployment, Acceptance and Compliance (EBODAC) project is enabling communities in Goma embrace health-seeking behaviours like voluntarily taking the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to safeguard against the disease. Similar activities are being extended to Beni.
World Vision has engaged faith leaders, women and youth groups to reach a cumulative 759,872 people (322,841 children) with Ebola-related messages on prevention, treatment and vaccination. Additionally, 40,522 have received supplementary food, targeting patients, survivors, and contacts, while several others benefitted from Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) as well as protection and psychosocial initiatives