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Ebola in Congo kills thousands of people: WHO to declare Health Emergency

Ebola in Congo, Africa is worsening with time with the number of victims expected to triple within next month. WHO stepped into action, and finally declared a health emergency in the region calling for an immediate call for action.

It has requested international bodies and foreign donors to assist the poverty struck communities in the best way possible. Given that, aid reaches at the right time, we can prevent the problem from exacerbating.

This is not the first time the news about Ebola in Congo has gained international attention. Just about 2015-16, around 7,000 people lost their lives after inflicting themselves with the condition. A look further in the countries of West Africa, similar unfortunate deaths were also reported.

2019 marks the second time in the last 4 years when WHO has declared a health emergency in the country.

Ebola in Congo: Thousands Killed

Tedros  Adhanom, Director General WHO presided a conference yesterday highlighting the gravity of the crisis. He stated that this time around, it is likely that Ebola in Congo to affect an unprecedented number of people. Time requires us to pay particular importance to the situation and assist the communities in Congo both medically and financially.

The crisis is believed to have initiated in August last year 2018 in the city of Bukavu. However, the inadequate measures on behalf of the authorities and lack of awareness allowed the problem to fester further. Goma, residing over a million Congolese, became the latest region to be hit by Ebola. Since last week 12 different cases have been reported to different hospitals in the city.

Ituri province in the north of Congo along with Katanga and North Kivu is among the severely affected regions. A closer analysis of the statistics would reveal that currently 2,500 people have been (or were) diagnosed with Ebola.

Out of the total figure, 1600 failed to survive which in a way indicates the magnitude of the problem of Ebola in Congo. From August till March, the rates were climbing up at a steady rate with 1100 reported cases in about 200 days.
However, from March onwards till July, the infliction figures have accelerated massively. Till date, within a span of 4 months, over 1200 patients found themselves infected with Ebola.

Why has Congo failed to solve the crisis?

Ebola in Congo is not a new site to witness for the inhabitants. As mentioned towards the starting of the passage, a similar crisis was observed in late 2015-16. The question that subsequently arises why has the country failed to curb the problem in its entirety every time.

One of the major reason is malpractice on behalf of the health authorities. The vaccine which is scientifically proven to be completely effective continues to be ignored. Consequently, a major portion of the population remains unvaccinated even after the 2015 crisis. There is henceforth, a dire need to carry a comprehensive vaccination campaign on a large scale.

Additionally, a lack of awareness about the disease itself also becomes a big contributory factor. Simply put, people are unaware of the risk posed by Ebola, the symptoms, preventive, treatment methods, etc. But more importantly, health experts have argued that people more often than not fail to realize that the infection is contagious. With any type of contact with an inflicted person, you are at a risk of getting infected.

Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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