July 31 ― A new case of Ebola has been registered in the eastern DR Congo city of Goma, a key transport hub, a Congolese health official said yesterday, as the virus death toll rose to 1,790.
Over the next six months, WFP will almost double its food assistance and nutritional support to 440,000 Ebola-affected people in DR Congo, Mr. Verhoosel announced, adding that this would include "primarily contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases". Ebola symptoms can start to occur between two and 21 days from infection, health experts say. Goma is an especially worrisome area, because the capital of North Kivu province is home to about 2 million people and sits on the border with Rwanda.
The latest Ebola outbreak to hit Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 1,790 people since August past year, according to figures released yesterday.
More than 1 700 people have died since an outbreak in the eastern Congo was declared nearly a year ago, prompting the World Health Organization in July to declare a global emergency.
Containing the outbreak has been hampered by distrustful communities and a plethora of armed groups regularly threatening and attacking health workers and treatment centers.
Speaking to journalists in Geneva, he said that given the challenges of "tracing contacts in the conflict zone that is eastern DRC, food distributions are key to the containment effort, helping as they do to limit the movement of people who could spread the disease, and to the vital vaccination drive".
The cameras used for measuring temperature detect people who might have fever and can alert health officials at the entry points, he said, adding that the development helps speed up the process of screening travelers.
For months health officers had feared that an Ebola case could be confirmed there.
So far, UNICEF has vaccinated more than 40,000 children against measles, but a massive scale-up was needed to protect them from various health risks.
WFP requires $50 million over the next six months to implement its response and preparedness actions in DRC and neighbouring countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. The city is one of the communities hardest hit by this outbreak, which is second only to the 2014-16 Ebolaepidemic in West Africa that left more than 11,300 people dead.