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Ebola cases in Eastern Congo reaches 300 as mistrust and insecurity hamper response

In response to the number of Ebola cases in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reaching 300, Chals Wontewe, Oxfam’s Country Director in the DRC, said:

“Three months on, mistrust and insecurity are making it extremely difficult to bring the Ebola outbreak under control – with the number of cases increasing by almost 80 percent in the last month alone.

“Years of protracted violence, forced displacement and severe hunger have led to mistrust amongst affected communities. Many people are still terrified to go to Ebola treatment centres.

“At the same time, violent attacks have meant that Oxfam and other agencies have had to suspend all activities. Every day the response is suspended by violence could mean potential cases missed and people not vaccinated, undermining all the hard work to keep this outbreak under control.

“Much more must be done to put those affected by Ebola at the heart of the response to make sure all their concerns are heard and addressed.”

ENDS

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
– Scheherazade Bouabid (in DRC) on sbouabid1@oxfam.org.uk / +243 (0) 815 163 782
– Oxfam GB’s media unit (in the UK) on media.unit@oxfam.org.uk / +44 (0)1865 472498

Notes to editors:

· Reports from the joint government and agencies surveillance commission show that the number of cases have increased by 78% between 1 October – 1 November 2018.

· Since the beginning of the response to the Ebola Outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri, Oxfam is providing clean, safe drinking water and delivering Ebola prevention messages to the affected population. The response has been interrupted by several attacks by armed groups, roadblocks and gunfire.

· Seven civilians were reported killed in attacks in Beni this weekend (3 November) while dozens of civilians were killed in attacks in the territory in October.

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