Rwanda + 3 more

UNICEF Rwanda Ebola Situation Report (December 2019)

Originally published



• In 2019, UNICEF supported the Ministry of Health to train 37,458 community health workers in 19 Districts on community surveillance of Ebola Virus Disease and delivered protection materials (gloves, boots) for 20,000 community health workers.

• UNICEF directly increased knowledge and awareness among 200,000 people in Rwanda’s 15-high risk districts through door-to-door sensitisation and community engagement on EVD • UNICEF procured and delivered scholastic material and supplies for 25,597 refugee and national students (11,962 female; 13,635 male)

• UNICEF continued to support the immunisation services in Mahama Refugee Camp for 13,316 children (130 per cent1) under five years on the following essential vaccines: BCG, Polio, DTC, Hepatitis B,
Hemophilus Influenza B, Rotavirus, Pneumococcal Conjugate and Measles/Rubella.

Situation Overview

According to statistics from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), there are 149,546 refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda. Of these, 72,932 are Burundian refugees (UNHCR, 31 December 2019), 76,366 are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and 248 are refugees from other countries. Refugee children under the age of 18 make up over 50 per cent of the total refugee and asylum-seeker population. Mahama Camp currently hosts 61,446 Burundian refugees, while the three reception centres (Bugesera [13], Nyanza [3] and Gatore [44]) host 60 Burundian refugees. In addition, there are more than 11,000 Burundian refugees in the urban areas of Kigali and more than 800 in Huye. In 2019, over 3,500 new Burundian refugees were registered. Since August 2018, the DRC has been facing a large-scale epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, with importation to Goma and South Kivu provinces. Since the start of the outbreak in August 2018, there have been 3,303 EVD cases reported and 2,199 people have died (WHO, 26 November 2019). Around 28 per cent of cases are children, a larger proportion than reported in previous outbreaks of Ebola. On 17 July 2019, WHO declared the Ebola outbreak in North Eastern DRC a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, and with well-developed transport infrastructure, Rwanda would be at high-risk of rapid spread of EVD. In 2018, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) developed an Ebola preparedness plan and activated mechanisms to minimise the risk of importation. Although Rwanda remains free of Ebola, there are 15 districts at risk of cross-border spread, six bordering DRC and Uganda and one with air links to DRC.