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End attacks on Ebola centres



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The continued attacks on Ebola treatment centres in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are as bizarre as they are tragic.

That anyone could even contemplate disrupting the operations, or harming people who have literally put their lives on the line to fight a dreaded epidemic, is extremely cruel.

Since the Ebola outbreak was declared in eastern DRC last August, attacks on health centres have led to deaths of at least four people with dozens of others wounded, including patients, according to a tally released by the Congolese health ministry last week.

In the latest incident, villagers killed a health worker and looted a treatment centre at Vusahiro village in the health sector of Mabalako, North Kivu Province, on Sunday, May 26.

A possible reason for the attacks is that some of the locals are opposed to the prevention protocols enforced by the anti-Ebola teams, such as the strict measures imposed for the burial of the victims of the disease.

The measures, designed to prevent more people being infected, prohibit the traditional rituals and funerals.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also accused local politicians of turning the people against the health workers.

In the meantime, Ebola continues to gnaw at the Congolese. According to the Ministry of Health statistics, the cumulative number of cases stands at 1,912 with 1,818 confirmed and 94 probable.

The death toll is put at 1,277 (1,183 confirmed and 94 probable) and 496 people healed.

Ebola is an epidemic like no other. Lethal and highly contagious, the fight against it can only succeed with the concerted efforts and cooperation of everyone in the affected area.

The Congolese in general, and residents of the east in particular, must not sacrifice the anti-Ebola crusade at the altar of partisan interests.

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