Ebola in the DRC: UNICEF provides technical expertise and supplies to support the Government in fighting the epidemic

NEWS NOTE

KINSHASA, May 10, 2018 – Following the announcement by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on May 8 of a new Ebola outbreak in Equateur Province, UNICEF has mobilised its teams to help contain the spread of the disease.

The outbreak was declared in the Bikoro Health Zone, located more than 100 kilometers south of the provincial capital of Mbandaka. A UNICEF team with two doctors, a specialist in water, sanitation and hygiene as well as a specialist in community communication left today from Mbandaka to assess the extent of the epidemic and begin implementing the response, alongside the Government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

This is the 9th Ebola outbreak in the country since 1976. UNICEF supports the Government in its coordination of the response both from the country’s capital Kinshasa as well as in the affected area.

UNICEF has been active in the Equateur Province for many years. Based on its experience in previous Ebola epidemics, UNICEF is focusing its response on communication activities in the communities to protect people from the disease and on water supply, hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease. UNICEF has already sent a total of 45 kg of chlorine, five sprays, 50kg of soap and 28,000 water purification tablets to the area, as well as 600 posters and 6,000 leaflets to educate affected communities.

Gianfranco Rotigliano, UNICEF Representative in the DRC has stressed the importance of a good coordination to contain the epidemic: “UNICEF will be working closely with the Government to control the outbreak.”

The UNICEF Representative will travel to the affected area this Saturday with the Minister of Health and the WHO Representative.

 

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ENDS

Photo: © UNICEF/Tremeau