UNICEF Rwanda Ebola Situation Report (August 2019)

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 20 Aug 2019

SITUATION IN NUMBERS

  • 6 million people reached with EVD prevention messages

  • 20,000 community health workers trained on EVD preparedness

  • 2600 front line workers vaccinated

HIGHLIGHTS

• With the ongoing Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC, neighbouring Rwanda is at high risk of cross-border transmission. In July 2019, two cases of Ebola were confirmed in Goma, a major transit hub on the border with Rwanda; heightening the risk of transmission.

• With UNICEF support, approximately 20,000 community health workers have been trained on EVD preparedness and community surveillance. While more than 10,000 community health workers were trained in risk communication and community engagement for EVD preparedness.

• Six million people have been reached with EVD prevention messages through mass media, keeping EVD at the centre of public discourse.

• A total of 320 religious leaders trained to conduct community sensitisation through sermons and other religious teachings.
While UNICEF pre-positioned WASH supplies in 24 hospitals, 259 health centres and 21 points of entry.

Situation Overview

Since August 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been facing a large-scale epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri. Since the start of the outbreak in August 2018, 2,976 EVD cases were reported and 1,990 have died (WHO, 27 August 2019). Nearly 30 per cent of cases are children, a larger proportion than reported in previous outbreaks of Ebola.

As one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, and with high-quality transport infrastructure, Rwanda is at high-risk of rapid spread of EVD infection. In 2018, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) activated Ebola preparedness mechanisms to minimize the risk of importation or crossborder transmission. Although Rwanda remains free of Ebola, there are 15 districts at risk of crossborder spread, six bordering DRC and Uganda and one with air links to DRC. The 15 high-risk districts are concentrated along Rwanda’s western and northern borders: Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Karongi, Rutsiro, Rubavu, Nyabihu, Musanze, Burera, Gicumbi, Nyagatare, Bugesera, Nyanza, as well as the capital Kigali’s three districts of Kicukiro, Gasabo, and Nyarugenge.

In July 2019, two cases of Ebola were confirmed in Goma, a major transit hub of more than one million people, which lies on the border with Gisenyi town in Rwanda. On 17 July 2019, WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in North Eastern DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.