Published: Wed, July 17, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

DRC: Authorities Repatriate Ebola-infected Pastor who Had Traveled to Goma

DRC: Authorities Repatriate Ebola-infected Pastor who Had Traveled to Goma

The case was worrying, said Djingarey, because Goma - near Congo's border with Rwanda - was "the door of this region to the rest of world".

Before, he said, it spreads beyond the Congolese borders.

The UNICEF spokesperson said she returned from the DRC on Sunday, after 10-days in North Kivu and Ituri, the two provinces affected by Ebola.

During a United Nations hosted meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on July 15, 2019, various health officials galvanized further support for the government-led effort to defeat the deadly disease.

As the 1st year anniversary of the Ebola Zaire virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) approaches, the 'risk of Ebola spreading to neighboring provinces and countries is very high'. Over the last weekend, two Ebola health workers died during an attack and the string of assaults does not show any signs of stopping any time soon.

"They will talk about vaccinations, health workers, community engagement, epidemiological trends, the latest on survivors, you know, everything will be discussed", Ms. Chaib said.

The outbreak in the DRC is the most complex public health emergency in recent history.

Congo's health ministry sought to reassure people late Sunday that the situation was under control, though some already were on edge after learning about the sick pastor. Last Tuesday the preacher fell ill and was seen at home by a nurse before he began his bus trip to Goma. It said everyone else on the bus - a driver and 18 other passengers - had been tracked down and they would be vaccinated on Monday.

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"During the checks, he did not seem to show signs of the disease".

But there was low risk of the disease spreading, the health ministry said. "In addition, at each checkpoint he wrote different names and surnames on the lists of travelers, probably indicating his desire to hide his identity and state of health", the ministry said.

He was taken back to a clinic in Butembo on Monday.

World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan mentioned that they had recognized 60 contacts, together with 18 who had been on the bus with the priest, and half of them have been vaccinated. "The identification of the case in Goma could potentially be a game-changer in this epidemic", Tedros warned.

It also spurred the decision to meet for a fourth time to reassess the level of the emergency.

In cities, density of population, high mobility and anonymity make it far harder to isolate patients and trace contacts compared to the countryside.

Goma is a border city located on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, adjacent to Rwanda. It is a huge crossroads with a port that links to Bukavu and South Kivu and an airport with flights to Kinshasa, the Ugandan capital Entebbe and Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

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