Rwanda: Ebola Preparedness Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Final Report - DREF Operation n° MDRRW017


Description of the disaster

On 1 August 2018, the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared the tenth outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province. Following this declaration, nine (9) neighbouring countries were put on alert by the World Health Organization (WHO) and advised that they are at high risk of spread of the virus based on their proximity to the affected area.
Rwanda was among the countries ranked as Priority 1 based on its shared borders and proximity to the affected area in North Kivu.

Indeed, Beni is approximately 370 kilometres from Rubavu district in Rwanda, which borders DRC through the town of Goma. There is high population movement in the border area with an estimated 45,000 - 60,000 people reported to cross daily to either side for trading and private business. In addition, Rwanda has a high population density which increases the risk of a possible EVD outbreak.

Eleven (11) districts in Rwanda were initially were considered most at risk of the outbreak, namely:

• Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Karongi, Rutsiro, Rubavu (bordering DRC)

• Musanze, Burera, Gicumbi and Nyagatare (bordering Uganda)

• Kigali city (comprised of 3 localities) due to the presence of Kigali International Airport.

The National Contingency plan was revised in February 2019 and two districts added to the list (Nyabihu and Nyanza), bring total districts at risk to 13. During the timeframe, the operation, however covered the 11 initial districts.

In response, the IFRC launched a DREF operation in September 2018 for an initial period of three months to enable RRCS to support the government’s preparedness plans. The operation was revised in November 2018 through Operations Update No.1 , which allowed for upwards revision of the budget allocated to SDB and contact tracing volunteer trainings. The amounts that were initially budgeted had envisaged supplementary funding from the National Coordination Committee, but these funds ended up not being availed. The timeframe was also increased for two months to end in February 2019 to allow for completion of the trainings. Operations update No.2 was issued in February 2019 to extend the operation for one month, until March 2019 and allow for continuation and transition of activities, with the launch of the EVD One International Appeal for DRC.

The overall regional risk posed by the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains very high considering the chances of cross border spread. The EVD Appeal countries continue to implement precautionary and preparedness measures to mitigate against the spread of the disease. Figures as of 25 June 2019 indicate a total 2,277 cases of which 2,183 confirmed cases and 94 probable cases. In addition, some 1,531 deaths have been reported with 1,437 of them being confirmed of Ebola and 94 probably linked to the disease.

As at now, this DREF operation is ended. However, Red Cross preparedness actions for Rwanda are carrying on under the EVD One International Appeal for DRC. This Appeal outlines the response and containment strategy and focuses on response activities in the DRC as well as preparedness plans in the four priority countries (Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan). To note, the World Health organization (WHO) declared the EVD outbreak in DRC a public health emergency of international concern (PHIEC) on 17 July 2019.