• The revised Joint Response Plan for the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri was released on 17 October, 2018 by the Ministry of Health with an additional US$ 61.3 million to cover activities between November 2018 to January 2019. The revised plan was developed jointly by the Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and other partners, and include preparedness activities. UNICEF areas of responsibility in the new plan is estimated at additional US$ 13.0 million over the next three months.
• October 17: A high-level mission that included the Minister of Health, the UN SRSG and the DSRSG/RC visited Beni to re-assure the response team on existing medical and security protocol in place for the team. The mission was preceded on October 15 – 16 by a joint mission of the UNICEF Deputy Representative and the WHO Representative to review ongoing response with a focus on the implication for children.
• October 17: The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee met to review the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, and concluded that Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) should not be declared at this time. But the Committee remains deeply concerned by the outbreak and emphasized that response activities need to be intensified and ongoing vigilance is critical. The Committee also noted the very complex security situation.
SITUATION IN NUMBER
238 total reported cases (MoH, 21 October 2018)
203 confirmed cases (MoH, 21 October 2018)
155 deaths recorded (MoH, 21 October 2018)
4,792 contacts under surveillance (MoH, 21 October 2018)
UNICEF Ebola Response Appeal US$ 21.8M
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 and Butembo health zones are the most concerning areasfor 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 subcoordination 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 increased the risk of disease spill over to Uganda due to high movements of population across the lake and in the vicinity.
An epidemiological analysis of the Ebola outbreak indicate that the proportion of children and adolescents affected by Ebola virus is increasing, especially in Beni town, where children aged less than 18-year account for 45% of new confirmed cases between 1 and 14 October, 2018. Further review of the situation indicates that most of the children were identified in Butanaka neighbourhood of Beni, and were not known contacts. Response efforts are being intensified to redress this situation.