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Updated On: Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Ebola Burials in DRC

Content by: South-South News

23 May 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — In Bolenge cemetery in Mbandaka city, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congolese Red Cross volunteers are conducting the safe and dignified burial of a patient who may have died of Ebola. Safe and dignified burials are critical to reducing the risk of Ebola spreading within affected communities.

The World Health Organization’s team leader for Viral Haemorrhagic Fevers Dr. Pierre Formenty highlights the importance of these types of burials to supporting communities and enabling response operations.

“With Ebola when people are dying they are very infectious. So it is important to have safe burials because then you decrease the chance of human-to-human transmission, but it is also important to have dignified burials so that the community is in agreement, the community can do the mourning. Because if we don’t do that then the community is upset, and you can have problems with the community that can hamper all the outbreak response operations. It’s important to do it safely but to do it dignified,” said Formenty.

From April 4 through May 16, 2018, a total of 45 Ebola virus disease cases have been reported in DRC, including 25 deaths: 14 confirmed, 21 probable, and 10 suspected. More than 530 contacts have been identified and are being followed-up.

WHO is deploying experts, coordinating partners, gathering and testing samples, providing supplies and equipment, tracing contacts, improving data collection and management, supporting life-saving care, strengthening infection prevention and control, supporting safe and dignified burials, and engaging communities.

The Ministry of Health – with support from WHO, Gavi, Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF and other health partners – will conduct ring vaccination of high-risk populations in affected health zones as soon as possible.

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