DR Congo

UNICEF DR Congo Ebola Situation Report North Kivu and Ituri - 15 October 2018

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Highlights

  • Insecurity in Beni city remains challenging, however, UNICEF operations in the affected areas have resumed. UNICEF continues to break down reluctance on Ebola vaccination, treatment in Ebola Treatment Centers, or refusal of secure and dignified burials through scaled up community engagement approaches.
  • The Joint Response plan is currently being reviewed by a team comprised of representative from the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and World Bank to encompass newly affected health zones.
  • Since the last reporting period, 30 new Ebola cases have been identified, particularly in the epicentre of the epidemic, Beni Health Zone. Of the new cases identified, there has been an increase in the number of deaths and confirmed cases of children.
  • Community resistance and insecurity has increased in Butembo Health Zone, leading to ville morte over a couple of days.
  • Tchomia Health Zone has stabilized as no new cases have been identified during the reporting period.

Situation in numbers

  • 214 total reported cases (MoH, 14 October 2018)
  • 179 confirmed cases (MoH, 14 October 2018)
  • 139 deaths recorded (MoH, 12 October 2018)
  • 4,195 contacts under surveillance (MoH, 14 October 2018)
  • UNICEF Ebola Response Appeal: US$ 7.624M

Humanitarian leadership and coordination

The Crisis Management Team continued to meet daily under the leadership of the Ministry of Health with all concerned partners and with the chairs of the different working groups providing thematic updates. UNICEF continues to participate actively in the coordination meetings at the national level and in Beni (operational headquarters) and co-leads the commissions on communication, WASH and psychosocial care; and active in the working groups on logistics and vaccination. A UNICEF security specialist is also deployed in the field to support security assessment and safety of the operations.

Beni health zone is the most worrying area for the response due to the high number of reported confirmed and probable cases. At the moment, UNICEF activities in risk communication and prevention, WASH, and psychosocial care are focused around five coordination hubs based in Beni, Butembo, Tchomia, and Mabalako Health Zone. And one sub-coordination hub is operational in Bunia city.

The coordination of UNICEF’s response is dynamic due to the identification of confirmed cases in Makeke, Mandima Health zone, Oicha Health Zone, Butembo, Masereka, and Tchomia Health Zone. UNICEF coordinates Makeke’s Ebola response from the coordination team based in Mangina Health Area and the coordination response for Oicha Health Zone. A coordination hub is put in place in Butembo Health Zone, which will also support the response in Masereka Health Zone. Due to the security access in Oicha and Masereka Health Zone, UNICEF works through local partners to implement its activities.

The stabilisation of the epidemiological situation in Tchomia Health Zone, Ituri, has been important in the evolution of the Ebola epidemic as the previously confirmed Ebola case was located near Lake Albert, which is in close proximity to Uganda. This increases the risk of disease spill over to Uganda due to high movements of population across the lake and in the vicinity. Due to security reasons, UNICEF’s response will be coordinated from Bunia, of which a coordination hub is currently being established.