The Ebola outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has continued for more than a year and the United Nations has played a key role in saving lives and preventing it from spreading.
In the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease has affected thousands of people over the last year. A young boy, whose mother is suspected of contracting Ebola, is cared for in a centre in Butembo set up by UNICEF.
Insecurity, including attacks on health centres, and a lack of trust among locala, has hampered efforts by the UN, the Congolese Government and other partners. UN Emergency Ebola Response Coordinator David Gressly said that “an enhanced UN-wide response is required to overcome these operating constraints.”
A key part of the Ebola response has been to establish community committees of local people to explain the threat of the disease, help reduce fear and encourage people to seek early treatment. Lwanzo Kahindo, seen here, is part of women’s group in Butembo, which engages with up to 15 families each day.
The UN says the “trust of the communities threatened by the virus is critical to the response.”
It is local people like Huguette Vithya who are involved in community action. An Ebola survivor herself, she will be playing a crucial role in halting the outbreak of the deadly disease.