DR Congo: Rebels attack Ebola hospital in North Kivu…”new cases jumps each time treatment and prevention work is disrupted”

Sunday, April 21, 2019
By Paul Martin


Militiamen in the DRC’s North Kivu province attacked another hospital in their most recent assault on organizations fighting Ebola. The city of Butembo in North Kivu province is at the center of the current epidemic.

Rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo attacked a hospital on Saturday, in the latest in a series of attacks on Ebola treatment centers and hospitals in the region.

One of the militants was killed and four more arrested after the attack on the Katwa hospital in the city of Butembo in the northern province of North Kivu, said Butembo Mayor Sylvain Kanyamanda.

Butembo city’s deputy mayor, Patrick Kambale Tsiko, told the Associated Press news agency that the attackers were armed with machetes and tried to burn down the center.

The attack came one day after a World Health Organization doctor, Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, was shot dead in an assault by armed militiamen on Butembo University Hospital, according to the WHO.

WHO said the epidemiologist had been deployed to help combat Ebola in the region.

Tsiko cited witnesses as saying the Friday attackers wrongly blamed foreigners for bringing the deadly virus to the region.

Attacks hamper medical efforts

The attacks by rebels, as well as community resistance, have further complicated efforts to contain what has become the second-deadliest Ebola virus outbreak in history.

The number of new cases jumps each time treatment and prevention work is disrupted — the disease can spread quickly and can be fatal in up to 90% of cases.

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