New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) show the number of confirmed and probable Ebola cases reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) now exceeds 1,000.
In its latest disease outbreak update, the WHO said that as of 26 March, a total of 1,029 confirmed and probable Ebola cases had been reported, of which 642 people had died. The number of healthcare workers affected had risen to 78, including 27 deaths.
Efforts are currently underway to encourage greater local participation and ownership of the outbreak response, and the WHO said that last week nine community committees had been established to “enhance direct dialogue with healthcare workers and empower community members to partake in the decision-making process of the local response." It said 'special dialogues' were being held in the communities that have witnessed the most frequent incidents, whereby an anthropologist first meets with the community to ascertain their concerns and then arranges for communal meetings where these concerns can be discussed, including amongst local youth leaders, women’s associations, traditional practitioners and healthcare providers.
The WHO said that while no major security incidents had been reported in the preceding 10 days, “the overall situation remains fragile."