The World Health Organization (WHO) suspended its Ebola response activities in part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last week following what it described as a “major security incident.”
According to the organisation, violence broke out in Lwemba, within the Mandima Health Zone between September 14 and 17 following the death of a healthcare worker with Ebola virus disease (EVD).
The WHO said the suspension has had a serious impact on the response activities on the ground, and it “could lead to gaps or delays in the reporting of new EVD cases” in the hotspot area. “Overall, these incidents underscore the need for continued and proactive engagement and sensitising of local communities throughout areas with EVD transmission and high-risk areas that may not currently be affected,” it said.
It also reported that a number of localised, minor security incidents had taken place in the previous week, which had impacted the response, including vaccination activities.
It comes as data show that as of September 17, 3,145 EVD cases have been reported in the DRC, including 3,034 confirmed and 111 probable cases. A total of 2,103 people have died, including 159 health workers.