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Archive for the tag “DRC”

DRC Ebola outbreaks: Crisis update – 23 September 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared their tenth outbreak of Ebola in 40 years on 1 August 2018. The outbreak is centred in the northeast of the country, in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. With the number of cases having surpassed 3,000, it is now by far the country’s largest-ever Ebola outbreak. It is also the second-biggest Ebola epidemic ever recorded, behind the West Africa outbreak of 2014-2016.

During the first eight months of the epidemic, until March 2019, more than 1,000 cases of Ebola were reported in the affected region. However, between April and June 2019, this number has doubled, with a further 1,000 new cases reported in just these three months. Between early June and the beginning of August, the number of new cases notified per week was high, and averaged between 75 and 100 each week; in recent weeks, this has decreased slightly, but the number of new cases are still averaging around 70-75 per week.

Latest figures – information as of 19 September 2019; figures provided by DRC Ministry of Health via WHO.

  • 3,157 TOTAL CASES
  • 3,046 CONFIRMED CASES
  • 2,111 TOTAL DEATHS

Contributing to this is the difficulty in identifying and following up contacts of people diagnosed with Ebola. Since the beginning of the epidemic, only around half of the new reported Ebola cases have been identified as contacts of previous confirmed cases before falling ill and seeking treatment, or dying without receiving proper treatment for Ebola.

On 11 June 2019, Uganda announced that three people had been positively diagnosed with Ebola, the first cross-border cases since the outbreak began. After several weeks with no recorded cases, the Ugandan government announced a new case on 29 August; the patient, a young girl, sadly died.

On 14 July, the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, the capital of North Kivu, and a city of one million people. The patient, who had travelled from Butembo to Goma, was admitted to the MSF-supported Ebola Treatment Centre in Goma. After confirmation of lab results, the Ministry of Health decided to transfer the patient to Butembo on 15 July, where the patient died the following day.

On 30 July, a second person in Goma was diagnosed with Ebola; they died the next day and two more cases were announced.

In reaction to the first case found in Goma, on 17 July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the current Ebola outbreak in DR Congo represents a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

In mid-August, the epidemic spread to neighbouring South Kivu province – becoming the third province in DRC to record cases in this outbreak – when a number of people became sick in Mwenga, 100 kilometres from Bukavu, the capital of the province.

Given the ongoing challenges in responding to the outbreak, MSF believes that Ebola-related activities should be integrated into the existing healthcare system, in order to improve proximity of the services to the community and ensure that it remains functional during the outbreak.

Background of the epidemic

Retrospective investigations point to a possible start of the outbreak back in May 2018 – around the same time as the Equateur outbreak earlier in the year. There is no connection or link between the two outbreaks.

The delay in the alert and subsequent response can be attributed to several factors, including a breakdown of the surveillance system due to the security context (there are limitations on movement, and access is difficult), and a strike by the health workers of the area which began in May, due to non-payment of salaries.

A person died at home after presenting symptoms of haemorrhagic fever. Family members of that person developed the same symptoms and also died. A joint Ministry of Health/World Health Organization (WHO) investigation on site found six more suspect cases, of which four tested positive. This result led to the declaration of the outbreak.

The national laboratory (INRB) confirmed on 7 August 2018 that the current outbreak is of the Zaire Ebola virus, the most deadly strain and the same one that affected West Africa during the 2014-2016 outbreak. Zaire Ebola was also the virus found in the outbreak in Equateur province, in western DRC earlier in 2018, although a different strain than the one affecting the current outbreak.

First declared in Mangina, a small town of 40,000 people in northern North Kivu province, the epicentre of the outbreak appeared to progressively move towards the south, first to the larger city of Beni, with approximately 400,000 people and the administrative centre of the region. As population movements are very common, the epidemic continued south to the bigger city of Butembo, a trading hub. Nearby Katwa became a new hotspot near the end of 2018 and cases had been found further south, in the Kanya area. Meanwhile, sporadic cases also appeared in the neighbouring Ituri province to the north.

Overall, the geographic spread of the epidemic appears to be unpredictable, with scattered small clusters potentially occurring anywhere in the region. This pattern, along with the lack of visibility on the epidemiological situation, and now cases appearing in Goma and in South Kivu province, is both extremely worrying and makes ending the outbreak even more challenging.

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RDC: Hon. Iracan Unen Gratien De Saint-Nicolas – Communique de Presse (23.09.2019)

RDC: Collectif des etudiants congolais au Burundi (CECOB) – Communique (22.09.2019)

Opinion: Tshisekedi is officially Kabila’s puppet – Part II

We should all realize that we can only talk about the bad forgeries, the ones that have been detected; the good ones are still hanging on the walls”Frank Wynne

Well, the recent election and the manifestation of the new coalition government where previous President Joseph Kabila still have the upper-hand. Kabila still runs the Senate, the House and has the most public officials across the boards. The CACH-FCC coalition, between now President Felix Tshisekedi, Vital Kamerhe and former President Kabila is all for the gains of the previous one.

Just not only has the previous the hands into all parts of the state, but he gets his own ways. How can you say that, well, the current president revealed that yesterday in a live interview on the channel TV5 on the program “international”.

Where he was saying this: “We can leave with them and say, well, if you’ve done some odd things in the past, now it’s over, it’s time to redeem ourselves and show our people a new face and new intentions, that’s what drives me as a state of mind”. This is his answer to crimes done and committed by the previous leadership. He is putting it all as “water under the bridge”.

That proves again, whose really in-charge and in-control. Since, there is no repercussions, no actions being made to the looting, the killings and power-games done by previous leadership. A leadership that blessed this man with a title after a questionable election at best.

Therefore, if you believe that Tshisekedi is powerful and has the strength to overcome the past. He don’t, his the whipping boy and the man on the pedestal while Kabila is dancing in the nightclubs of Kinshasa. Because, Felix has to be astute, show at formal international meetings and sign-off memorandums. While Kabila can eat, sleep and regain strength in the Presidential Villa. While Tshisekedi has to negotiate everything and await the final decision made the cronies and Kabila himself. Since, his only in power because of the arrangement made in- and around the 2018 elections.

Let’s be clear, if there would be any vindication. There wouldn’t be this massive haul and power-grab. However, it is and it persists. This will only continue like this, as long as Tshisekedi are able to stick to the program. If he doesn’t, expect impeachment or any other sort of gamble. Since, Kabila doesn’t play and certainly not about his power. Peace.

RDC: Maitre Mbaki Ndombele – “Concerne: Plainte contre Monsier Daniel Mwananteba pur Imputations dommageables” (21.09.2019)

RDC: Nord-Kivu – Appel Urgent – Des Organisations de Defense des droits Humains (20.09.2019)

Opinion: A panga for your thoughts…

Sometimes my mind wonders. Because of that, I really start to wonder! How many has die in certain conflicts before they really matters? How many innocent lives has to be taken, before the international community and the world as whole want it too stop?

I don’t have the answers, I don’t, but its tiring to know and have the knowledge of conflicts. See the steady stream of figures, estimated deaths and breaking news, bulletins and minor side-notes on the conflicts that is happening in our time. If the superpowers or the in the United Nations Security Council isn’t involved. These conflicts are in the shadows, in the midst and the publicity is mediocre at best.

Therefore, you can wonder, how long the deaths of innocent civilians in the mercy of authorities in Burundi can persist. How long the silent war of the Kivu Provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and not forget the steady bombs in Mogadishu, Somalia. The civil war inside Cameroon, where the South-West and North-West regions are a battlefield for the central government to silence the separatists. These are just happening.

The other day an FDLR commando leader got killed, but didn’t hit the headlines. Which it should have, because that is fatal setback for the militia, which continues to cause havoc in the DRC. We should be worried, when these sort of things doesn’t get the headlines.

When the mere bomb killings several of people in Mogadishu doesn’t matter too. Unless, the Al-Shabaab is killing an American soldier or something. Because, the loss of AMISOM soldiers or nearly annexing of land to Kenya there doesn’t make head-weight. Just like there is no outcry nor about the possible takeover of 5 ports there either.

I am just wondering what it will take and how many has die to which point people thinks it is enough. Because, the state of affairs isn’t changing. The steady deaths, the refuge of people and other atrocities that goes unnoticed.

I am just wondering how many pangas has to be used before it is enough. How much blood it takes and how many has to stop breathing?

I don’t have the answer, but something got to give. It is too much pain and the sufferings continues for so many. We should be worried about that, because the lives are ruined and the uncertainty of the future for so many. Peace.

RDC: Ituri – Communique de Presse (20.09.2019)

RDC: Comite Laic de Coordination (CLC) – Ensemble disons NON a l’impunite et a l’impuissance de la justice ! (19.09.2019)

RDC: Communique de Presse – L’Eglise du Christ au Congo Appelle la Justice a Eclairer l’Opinion sur la Controverse Autour de 15 Millions USD (17.09.2019)

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