One week after the most recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was declared over, four new cases of the virus have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health. International Medical Corps' team in DRC is preparing to ramp up disease surveillance and infection prevention should they be needed, in North Kivu. Our Emergency Response Team continues to provide training in infection prevention and support for disease surveillance in the wake of the previous outbreak.
One week after the most recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was declared over, four new cases of the virus have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health. These new cases are in North Kivu, a province more than 1500 miles/2500 km from the earlier outbreak which is home to more than 1.1 million internally displaced people and refugees fleeing violence and conflict in the region. It remains unclear if this is a continuation of the previous epidemic or a new outbreak.
International Medical Corps' Emergency Response Team is on the ground in Kinshasa and Mbandaka and is working in support of the DRC Ministry of Health to mobilize a multi-disciplinary response to help save lives and contain the virus. This includes launching an Ebola training program for frontline healthcare workers, providing health facilities with the tools to fight infectious disease, and establishing screening, referral, and isolation units in Ebola-affected areas.
Training frontline health workers and establishing screening and referral units will help give communities the skills and knowledge they need to manage Ebola and better respond future outbreaks of the deadly disease. International Medical Corps gained extensive experience training local health workers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and will apply this expertise in the DRC to build the capacity of the health system in preparation for future crises.