A New Ebola Death in The DRC, Further Complicating Mass People Displacements Due To Violent Conflict

Sunday February 07, 2021: An Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) death has been confirmed in Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which could spell the 12th EVD outbreak. Butembo was one of the epicentres of the 10th EVD epidemic, which is remembered to have infected more children than previous outbreaks, and thousands continue to suffer separation, life as orphans, fear, and death from easy-to-treat diseases.

The Health Ministry announced today that the new case was detected in the town of Biena near the city of Butembo, and the infected person has died. The woman is said to have been found with symptoms of the deadly virus in the town of Biena on Feb. 1 and died in hospital in Butembo on Feb. 3.

“An outbreak of such a highly contagious disease, in a region already experiencing mass people movements due to violent spikes of conflict that have recently affected nearly 26,000 families, is worrisome,” says World Vision’s National Director Anne-Marie Connor. “Children living in these areas need immediate action to avoid the effects of a likely confluence of Ebola, COVID19 and conflict, in a country where we are also seeking funding to address needs of nearly 100,000 refugees fleeing the post-election violence in the Central African Republic. The situation is complex,” she adds.

This report of a new case of Ebola comes at a time when World Vision is launching a USD 5.5 million appeal and response to address the most urgent needs of families affected by conflict in Beni, Butembo and Oicha as well as those of refugees and host communities in the North West areas of North and South Ubangi.

“It is important for us to remember that this is unfolding within a varied context of COVID19, which demands that whatever form of response we adapt to respond needs factor in this pandemic,” the organisation's Director of Programmes in Eastern DRC, David Munkley, explains.