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Fresh tension as gunmen attack Ebola outbreak treatment centres

The attack on treatment centres of Ebola patients by gunmen has raised fresh tension over the efforts of the government to contain the spread of the deadly disease to other parts of the country.

The United Nations health officials were said to have advocated that strengthening both security and Ebola response effort is essential to containing the growing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations were said to have beefed up security for Ebola patients and healthcare workers after armed groups attacked treatment centers in the outbreak hot spots in the country’s east.

Healthcare workers tackling the Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo were said to have, however, have resumed treating patients after temporary halt of activities two weeks ago.

The suspension of service was said to be caused by an attack on a treatment center in Katwa and Butembo in which a World Health Organization doctor was killed.

ALSO READ: Brain Drain: NMA bemoans exodus of doctors to foreign countries

The DR Congo recorded 27 new cases of Ebola on Sunday, the biggest number since the outbreak was declared in August 2018. The Congolese health minister says insecurity has significantly reversed the gains they’ve made.

The government and international organizations have stepped up their protection of healthcare workers and patients.

Health workers are grappling with issues of mistrust by some community members and the belief that Ebola was brought by foreigners.

An increase in security has been welcomed by healthcare workers in DR Congo, many of whom had threatened to go on strike if authorities didn’t do more to protect them.

Meanwhile many are concerned that the Ebola outbreak in eastern DR Congo will worsen if attacks by militia groups continue to prevent patients from getting treatment.

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