- UNICEF resumed its Ebola response activities in all zones affected by recent security incidents such as Biakato, Mangina, Beni and Oicha.
-In Biakato, on 10 December, a first Ebola survivor coming from Lwemba was discharged from the Ebola Treatment Centers. The same day, taking the opportunity of the survivor’s celebration, a meeting with the community was organized with the presence of the governmental coordinator of the response, the UNICEF response coordinator,
WHO’s Assistant Director-General, with an aim to discuss the return of the response actors (previously evacuated for security reasons).
Following recent security incidents, and the relapse and death of an Ebola survivor in the Aloya health area (Mangina), UNICEF intensified psychological support interventions to Ebola survivors, with therapy group sessions were organized in three ETC and nurseries.
As part of Pillar 3 interventions, UNICEF Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPC)/Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) teams provided support for the measles follow up campaign launched by the Ministry of Health on 10 December. The campaign targets an estimated at 1,110,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in the 23 areas affected by the EVD.
With an additional 24 new confirmed cases reported in the week of 9 to 15 December 2019, a total of 3,348 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases were reported as of 15 December 2019, among which 3,230 confirmed and 118 probable cases.
Two thirds (2,213) of EVD cases died (global case fatality rate is 66 per cent). Of the total confirmed and probable cases, 56 per cent (1,883) were female and 28 per cent (941) were children.
The reporting period was marked by the progressive resumption of the UNICEF response activities in all zones affected by security incidents in the previous weeks, such as Biakato, Mangina, Beni and Oicha.
In Biakato, on 10 December a meeting was held among the governmental coordinator of the response, Prof. Muyembe, the UNICEF response coordinator, the World Health Organization (WHO) assistant Director-General and representatives of the Biakato civil society who stressed the importance of recruiting response workers among the local population and ensuring that Ebola response workers fully respect local communities and their sensibility and culture.
Finally, the community advocated for the return of the response actors previously evacuated for security reasons. The same day, the first Ebola survivor of Biakato was discharged from the ETC and ceremonies were organized for its reintegration in the community. Through its radio partners, the UNICEF Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) team supported the preparation of the resumption of Ebola Virus Desease (EVD) vaccination activities.
During the reporting period the majority of EVD reported cases (22 out of 24) came from the Aloya health area (Mabalako health zone in the Mangina sub-coordination). On 10 December, nine cases out of the ten reported on that day were cases coming from the same family and contacts of a moto taxi-driver who had previously recovered from EVD and developed the disease symptoms. This EVD relapse was a source of concern among survivors, especially those working in the response in close contact with suspected and confirmed cases. The UNICEF supported psychosocial actors improved their efforts to provide a dedicated and continued support to them.
In Beni, in the Bunzi health area (Beni health zone), UNICEF RCCE team continues to communicate on the importance of EVD vaccination among the IDPs coming from Lwemba. During the measles vaccination campaign that started in Beni on 10 December, nine displaced contacts children under five years old (six girls and three boys) were vaccinated.
During the medical screening accompanying the vaccination session, two children demonstrated potential EVDsymptoms and were quickly transferred to the ETC, where they were declared negative to the virus.