Humanitarian medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has opened an Ebola treatment center in Mangina, the epicenter of the latest cholera outbreak in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a statement released in New York on August 16, MSF said 37 patients are currently hospitalized in the treatment facility. Of these, 31 are confirmed case while six are suspected infections.
“Among our patients, we have several colleagues from the Congolese health system. They were the first to respond, and some were exposed to the virus.” said Gwenola Seroux, MSF emergency programs coordinator
Prior to opening the new center, MSF was operating an isolation unit locally to improve safety and implement protection measures. All patients from the old unit have since been transferred to the new specialized treatment center.
“In order to address some of the response priorities set by health authorities, MSF is working along the route between Mambasa and Makeke in Ituri province, visiting health centers to set up isolation rooms, undertaking surveillance activities, and liaising with community health workers to raise awareness about Ebola,” the organization said.
Enhanced infection prevention and control measures are being reinforced to prevent a further spread of Ebola. However, MSF said critical disease prevention and treatment activities are being hindered by widespread insecurity in North Kivu.
These include contact tracing, community outreach and surveillance, responses to alerts, investigations, vaccinations and health promotion. Military operations have caused mass population displacement and worsened the problem of limited access to healthcare.
At least 44 people have been killed since the latest Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo was confirmed on August 1.
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