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Growing concern for the spread of ebolautbrott in Congo-Kinshasa

It is less than a year ago ebolautbrottet was found in the poor, central african jättelandet which has for many years been rocked by internal conflict. Over 1,100 people have died so far.

" We have between 15 and 20 cases per day now, which is a significant increase since two months back. Then we had in the outbreak centre and just two or three cases daily, " says John Johnson, coordinator for the French Doctors without borders, to TT on the phone from the city of Goma on the border with Rwanda.

not yet reached. But concern is high that the disease will reach the most densely populated cities, where it is even more difficult to control. Over the last few weeks the infection appeared in many new places and the more ”smittocentrum”, the more difficult to control will be the outbreak.

Many of those who come to the clinics are not on the lists of persons who have, or may have been exposed to the infection established. That indicates that there are infected out there in society that are not yet known.

"We are very concerned about how we are going to get this under control and how we should be able to build out the operation," says Johnson.

Image 1 of 3 DN visited Congo-Kinshasa 2018. Photo: Paul Hansen Slide 2 of 3 DN visited Congo-Kinshasa 2018. Photo: Paul Hansen Slide 3 of 3 DN visited Congo-Kinshasa 2018. Photo: Paul Hansen photo Slideshow

far from being as serious as it is in west africa a few years ago, when just over 11,000 people died and the infection spread to several countries, particularly Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

But the outbreak in the democratic republic of the Congo bears many similarities with the west, " explains the nurse Anna Sjöblom, who worked for Doctors without borders during both the outbreaks. In both cases, it is the countries with weak health care systems and a challenging environment that affected.

But this outbreak is more difficult to handle because of the armed conflicts in the area. The fighting has led to the people in the most affected region, the province of North kivu, become unsure of who they can really rely on. In some cases, medical staff had to take the help of the military to take to the smittoområden, which increased the confusion. Violence directed against themselves ebolainsatsen – armed groups have attacked hospitals that had to evacuate patients and staff. And in april, an epidemiologist from Cameroon in attack.

Read more: Distrust hampers the operation against ebola

the fact is that the population in the affected region have been long forgotten, " says Anna Sjöblom.

" Now you see the help to roll in, but the focus is only on the ebolan. It has been perceived as extremely provocative by many who are in need of so much more, " says Anna Sjöblom.

in Order to try to meet the Doctors without borders started treating the other diseases in his bet.

the Fighting also leads to that of people fleeing. When the refugees are moving illegally to the neighbouring countries, are in danger of taking the infection into the next society because they are not checked for the disease at the border.

a crucial difference between this outbreak and the in west africa is that there is now a vaccine. At the last outbreak was the vaccine available only in the final stage of the outbreak.

– most of The accept to be vaccinated, " says Anna Sjöblom.

Read more: A funeral like no other – the DN visited 2018 Congo-Kinshasa

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