Our first involvement in Congo, with Healing Streams, was designed to assist those traumatized by rape, in part because rape was being used as a weapon of war. Tragically, the persistent attacks on Ebola treatment centres now may have the same purpose.


Soldiers likely posing for the camera in front of a burnt out treatment centre

Multiple violent attacks on Ebola treatment centres continue to occur.  A police officer and a health care worker were just killed by such an attack.  Doctors Without Borders have been removed until security improves, but local workers have no one to rescue them.  Some reports have claimed that the attacks are by disgruntled relatives, unable to visit their loved ones, upset that their possessions are being doused with chlorine. But the flying bullets indicate that armed rebels groups, this time identified as the Mai Mai, have been responsible.

Butembo health care workers

Hero medical personnel in Butembo after an attack

Baby Casket-health-ebola-congo

Ebola victims are disproportionately children

The Ebola epidemic is now the second worst in history, but attacks on treatment centres and the fact that many recent victims had not been quarantined leaves open the fear of further spreading. Some tribal groups, thankfully not in this specific region, have a traditional burial custom of mourning a loss by prostrating themselves on the deceased. Education levels and basic hygiene as practiced by many leave a lot to be desired.

Ebola Stats March 2019

The good news is that the number of reported cases has recently been declining.
Nancy Wood reports that all human traffic in and out of Bunia is subject to a hand washing barrier. There have been no further Ebola cases confirmed in a month in Bunia. The area of concern is the more southern centres of Beni and Butembo. But the recent attacks on health workers could allow the Ebola epidemic to persist.