UNICEF welcomes the end of the latest DRC Ebola outbreak while continuing efforts to strengthen healthcare in Equateur province
KINSHASA, 4 JULY 2022 – Following the announcement of the end of the fourteenth Ebola outbreak in north-western Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), UNICEF hailed the coordinated response that quickly contained the spread of the disease.
The latest outbreak was declared by health authorities on 23 April in Mbandaka, the capital of the Equateur province. All five cases recorded as having Ebola died, including two children aged 9 and 12. It was the third outbreak in Equateur province since 2018.
"UNICEF teams were on the ground as soon as the outbreak was announced and will continue to work in the field to build the resilience of the health system and ensure that families and communities are protected from the ravages of Ebola," said Katya Marino, UNICEF Deputy Representative in DRC.
Under the coordination of the Ministry of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, UNICEF has mobilized its teams based in the Mbandaka office to help contain the spread of the disease by focusing on infection prevention and control and on access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
With the support of the World Bank, UNICEF and its partners have:
- Sensitized more than 560,000 people on preventive measures and engaged 660 religious and political leaders in the fight against the disease;
- Distributed infection control supplies to the Mbandaka Ebola Treatment Centre and 70 other health care facilities;
- Deployed 33 tons of medical supplies and equipment as well as hygiene, water and sanitation materials;
- Set up a temporary nursery next to the Ebola Treatment Centre to provide psychosocial support to 9 affected children, 72 family members and 116 people suspected to have been infected in addition to nearly 60 frontline workers;
- Provided nutritional care to 106 patients, including 40 children, at the Ebola Treatment Centre while sensitizing more than 1,000 caregivers on infant and young child feeding;
- Strengthened the use of evidence and recommendations from previous outbreaks to help guide the Ebola response;
- Ensured the endorsement of the harmonized code of conduct on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse by 176 humanitarian actors involved in the response.
As part of the World Bank-supported Post-Ebola Strengthening Project (REDISSE IV), UNICEF will continue to strengthen mechanisms to improve the early detection of epidemics as well as infection prevention and control and access to water, hygiene and sanitation in Equateur province.
Through this project, UNICEF has already supported the construction and rehabilitation of sustainable water and waste management facilities in several health facilities and structures to reduce the spread of Ebola.