Authorities have warned that the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where responders are continuing efforts to contain the ongoing Ebola outbreak, remains ‘volatile and challenging’.
The warning comes just days after a World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist was killed and two other healthcare professionals were injured in an attack by armed militia at an Ebola treatment centre.
On Wednesday (24 April 2019), response workers threatened strike action if the safety situation is not improved. Reuters reported that dozens of Congolese doctors and nurses marched in the city of Butembo, urging authorities to take additional security measures, saying if their security could not be guaranteed, they would strike from the first week of May.
In its latest situation report, the WHO said the security and safety of response personnel remained a top priority, and efforts were underway to review and intensify measures to keep responders safe. “Engagement with communities through direct dialogue is ongoing to gain greater community acceptance, as this is key to an effective response, as well as to ensuring the security and safety of both the outbreak response workers and the patients they are serving,” it said.