Friday , October 22 2021

A horse battle against the Ebola is complicated by the war and suspicions over the vaccine


There is a soccer field with striking pigeons, located across the road from the city hospital in Ben – but nobody will play football there for a while.

Instead, this skeptical piece of land is turned into a massive activity, as 330 workers have quickly built an urgent health facility.

The timber structures that are now being formed are part of an increasingly desperate attempt by a multinational group for several agencies to control ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More than 300 people are now classified as "confirmed" or


Through the eye of a doctor ebola

More than 300 people are infected with this highly contagious virus, and the only urban center for the treatment of Ebola, flooded by the medical charity organization ALIMA, is overflowing.

On the day of our visit, 92 people were accepted, but the center has 60 beds.

Baby Pascale was one of those who were declared free ebola and were fired from the center

The new Medecins Sans Frontieres-funded complex will show what experts call "suspicious cases" and should help reduce some of the pressure.

Nevertheless, this epidemic will soon be among the worst eruptions of ebola in the history of the Congo.

The government and its international partners rely on local surveillance and vaccination teams to prevent spread.

:: Doctors under pressure who are fighting for an outbreak of the Congo epidemic

A 46-year-old woman who died of the virus is taken away
A 46-year-old woman who died of the virus is taken away

The idea is quite simple: to trace anyone who has been in contact with the victim of ebola and provided them with a new available vaccine developed in Canada.

The main health institutions did not confirm, but it proved effective in early experiments.

But the problem with the plan. Firstly, many residents of the city do not want to follow, and secondly, they do not want a vaccine.

When Sky visited 92 people were accepted, but the center has only 60 beds

I spoke with the head of a community monitoring unit, Dr Maneno Muhindangabo Henry, and asked if he was facing resistance.

"It's really our breakfast every day," he said.

"Many people reject the vaccine and talk a lot about it. They said, if you take it, you will become infertile, kill you, and have bad effects."

Dr. Henry's feedback is one of the big reasons why this outbreak is so unpredictable. Many here simply do not want to protect themselves.

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Full report: Doctors are struggling with the outbreak of Ebola in Congo

Beni's resident James Kituwa told me that some of his neighbors claim that the vaccine is satanic.

"They think they will be killed," he said. "The vaccine is from Satan."

There is another reason why the Congolese government and international non-governmental organizations have found that this epidemic is so difficult to solve.

Beni is in warzone. The consequence of armed rebellion and ethnic executions from the 1990s; two separate rebel militias – called Alliance Democratic Forces (ADF) and "Mai Mai" – often get into the city.

Two weeks ago, the militant attack led to the deaths of 13 civilians and the kidnapping of 12 children from the city.

Head of the World Health Organization, dr. Tedros Adhan Ghebreyesus told Sky News that he never made the epidemic with such a complicated situation.

"The situation with this outbreak is very different from other outbreaks," he said.

More from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

"Even the West African outbreak (in 2014-15), because there is a serious security problem, an active military conflict, and this makes the situation more difficult."

The risk is obvious. In a terribly unstable environment, the Ebola virus is spreading and the outbreak of Beni becomes an international infection.

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