The number of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) more than doubled from the end of October (293) to the end of December (623). As of 31 December, 368 deaths had been reported. Insecurity continued to impact Ebola-affected areas. In November, armed men attacked an EVD burial team at Mutembo village, between Beni and Butembo, and in December three health facilities in Katwa were set ablaze by unknown people. In the area near Beni, North Kivu, more than 1,300 cases of human rights violations against civilians were recorded from October to December, including physical attacks, killing, pillaging and kidnapping. Although the number of cases reported in Beni decreased in November and December, the outbreak intensified in Butembo and Katwa. The risk of national and regional spread therefore remained very high, with Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda working to heighten cross-border surveillance and preparedness levels.
Cholera affected nearly 8,800 people in the Great Lakes region in November and December, most of them in DRC and Uganda.
Although the number of regions with active outbreaks decreased, over 5,700 new cases, including 100 deaths, were registered in the DRC provinces of Haut Katanga, Kasai-Oriental, Sankuru and Tanganyika. In Uganda, over 2,700 new cases were reported. In Burundi, Rumoge District in - which experienced torrential rains and flooding along Lake Tanganyika in December – a new outbreak was reported, with more than 110 suspected cholera cases, including one death, recorded between 25 and 31 December. Tanzania reported 380 new suspected cholera cases, mainly from Momba district in Songwe region. Meanwhile, the measles outbreak in DRC spread from seven to nine provinces, with nearly 10,000 cases, including over 108 deaths, reported by December. In Uganda, 53 districts had reported measles outbreaks by the end of 2018.
At least 10,000 refugees and asylum seekers – 7,000 from DRC – arrived in Uganda in November and December. Refugees arriving from DRC reported fleeing due to inter-ethnic clashes and fear of election-related violence, while refugees from South Sudan reported fleeing fear of attack due to the conflict. Burundians arriving in Uganda indicated several reasons, including insecurity and family reunification. In DRC, there were reports of new internal displacement, with close to 100,000 people newly displaced due to renewed violence since September in Djugu Territory of Ituri Province. Meanwhile, the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Burundi decreased to less than 140,000.
Karamoja in Uganda experienced an unusually harsh dry season, causing a decline in livestock production, rising food prices and scarce local food supply. In parts of Karamoja, people are facing Crisis (IPC phase 3) levels of food insecurity, while refugees hosted by Uganda remain reliant on humanitarian food assistance
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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