One of the biggest Ebola outbreaks in history is threatening thousands of people – and could intensify at any moment. We have launched the Ebola Outbreak Appeal.
Over 2,600 cases of the deadly disease are confirmed with over 1,700 lives lost in the second-worst outbreak of Ebola on record in two eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, health infrastructure is already weak and many people lack sanitation and clean water.
Health teams are working bravely to protect their communities, but they need help. Ebola can be stopped, and a fast response is crucial: a previous epidemic in May 2018 was quickly brought under control.
We are working alongside the World Health Organization, the DRC’s Ministry of Health and other agencies. Through our Ebola Outbreak Appeal, we are committed to helping halt the spread of the virus and alleviating the suffering of those caught up in this crisis.
The DRC is already in a humanitarian crisis. Violence, social instability and food insecurity make people even more vulnerable. Over 4.5 million men, women and children are internally displaced in this vast African country - most were forced from their homes by conflict. This makes it harder to reach them with medical aid.
Many communities are in denial about the virus, and resistant to help from health workers. Community engagement and awareness is starting to overcome their fears, and helping communities to take charge of their response.
How we are helping
Your donations are providing:
- Medical assistance- sharing life-saving health messages in communities
- Psychosocial support for health workers
- Hygiene kits including disinfectant and chlorine tablets for 40,000 people
- Hygiene training, hygiene promotion campaigns and radio broadcasts on how to stay safe from the virus
Through the Bureau Œcuménique d’Appui au Développement (BOAD) and CBCA, two longstanding partners, we are working in North Kivu, in four villages that are at high risk of infection.
From our response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone in 2014-15, we know that medical help is crucial, but our response must go further.
Providing safe water and sanitation, and sharing hygiene awareness, can help to check the spread of the epidemic.
It is vital to communicate health messages and build trust. So we are supporting local-level response committees, including representatives from women’s organisations, traditional leaders, faith leaders and civil society groups.
We can also help provide emotional and psycho-social support, both for those directly affected, and to reduce fear within communities.
Photo Credit: HUGH KINSELLA CUNNINGHAM