Patients at the centre of MSF’s Ebola response in DRC

October 6, 2012

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Patients at the centre of MSF’s Ebola response in DRC © Agus Morales

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and other organisations are making efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in which 34 people have died, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Since August, MSF’s medical teams have been doing their utmost to improve the well-being of patients, providing them and their relatives with care and psychosocial support.

Twelve new cases have been confirmed since 11 September, and four patients are currently being cared for in Isiro hospital, the epicentre of the outbreak.

“Lots of people have died, but we have also seen six people discharged after surviving Ebola,” says Alfonso Verdú, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Isiro. However, with the most recent new case of Ebola reported on 27 September, the intervention is still far from over.

MSF, the Congolese Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are together responding to the outbreak and trying to put it to an end. At the same time, MSF is stepping up its health promotion activities so that the community is better informed about the virus.

Ebola haemorrhagic fever was detected for the first time in humans in 1976 in Zaire (now DRC). It is transmitted through bodily fluids and has a high mortality rate, which fluctuates from 30 to 90 percent depending on the strain of the virus and people’s genetic susceptibility to the disease.

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