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DRC Ebola outbreak: Start Fund response

ALIMA treats last suspected cases as outbreak declared over

  • 12 Jul 17

photo © ALIMA / John Wessels

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In May, Start Network member ALIMA contained an Ebola outbreak in the DRC, with support from the Start Fund. Read ALIMA's account of the response below. 

Kinshasa/Dakar, July 1st, 2017. The Ministry of Health has declared the end of the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo after 42 days passed without newly reported cases. The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) medical teams left the Muma health area in Likati district, which was affected by the epidemic.

“We are pleased to see that no cases of Ebola have been reported in the DRC for the past 42 days, and we congratulate the Congolese authorities and their partners for having contained the epidemic so rapidly,” said Moumouni Kinda, Program Manager for ALIMA.

During the intervention, the organization trained 20 medical staff members in the management of patients with Ebola. In Muma, the ALIMA teams rehabilitated three health centers and set up two isolation units in the village. They also donated nearly 2 tons of medicines and medical equipment - including protective kits to health authorities.

The Ebola epidemic that occurred on May 12th in the Bas-Uélé province affected 5 people, 4 of whom died according to the Ministry of Health. In addition, 105 suspect cases for which laboratory tests were negative were recorded.

This is the eighth outbreak of Ebola in the Congo, and all of them have been circumscribed since 1976. These outbreaks had the characteristic of being small-scale outbreaks which spread in hard-to-reach forest areas.

The ALIMA teams adopted a response strategy different from those practiced in West Africa in 2014.

“We preferred to set up small units for the isolation of suspect cases. Patients were mainly isolated in small emergency units and occasionally in their homes to avoid contamination of care teams in charge of transportation. We have made every effort to rapidly deploy secure medical care,” Moumouni Kinda concluded.

The support of Start Fund made it possible for ALIMA to rapidly deploy emergency medical assistance in this particularly difficult to access zone.

You can watch a short video of the response here 

Originally published by ALIMA

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