Congo-Kinshasa: 39 New Ebola Cases Confirmed by WHO in a Week

Source:  AllAfrica.com WHO
December 12 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Data as reported by: 10 December 2018

500 Cases

289 Deaths

1. Situation update

The Ministry of Health (MoH), WHO and partners continue to respond to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By using proven public health measures as well as new tools at hand (immunization and therapeutics), WHO remains confident the outbreak can be contained and brought to an end, despite multifaceted challenges.

Ebola Congo washing hands.jpg

Photo: Thomas Nybo/UNICEF Learning that handwashing is among the best ways to protect yourself against Ebola, schoolchildren in Beni, DR Congo, visit a
hand-washing station at their school.

During the reporting period, 4 December – 10 December 2018, cases continued to be reported in several health zones of North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, including in Mandima, a health zone in Ituri Province that last reported cases 102 days ago. During the reporting period, 39 new confirmed cases were reported from Katwa (12),
Butembo (8), Beni (6), Mabalako (4), Oicha (3), Komanda (1), Kyondo (1), Vuhovi (1) and Mandima (1). Three healthcare workers were reported among the confirmed cases. A total of 21 deaths occurred during the reporting period.

The continuous efforts to review and reconcile case records in the database resulted in the addition of eight confirmed cases who had been admitted at the Ebola treatment Centre (ETC) of Beni during October 2018, and the identification of two former confirmed cases as being healthcare workers.

As of 10 December 2018, a total of 500 EVD cases, including 452 confirmed and 48 probable cases (Table 1), have been reported from 14 health zones in the two neighbouring provinces of North Kivu and Ituri (Figure 2).
Of the total of 500 cases, 289 died (overall case fatality rate 58%), including 241 confirmed cases. As of 10 December 2018, 172 cases have recovered and been discharged from ETCs. Females account for 61% of all confirmed and probable cases, and children (cases. The number of health workers affected is 49 (47 confirmed and 2 probable), including 15 deaths.
Over the last 21 days (20 November to 10 December 2018), 100 confirmed and probable cases were reported from 12 health zones. The majority were reported from the major urban areas of Katwa (n=28), Beni (n=26), and Butembo (n=17); however, field teams are simultaneously pursuing the response activities around cases across Kalunguta, Komanda, Kyondo, Mabalako, Mandima, Masereka, Mutwanga, Oicha and Vuhovi.


Ebola outbreak in DRC is second worst in history

Source: IRC International Rescue Committee
November 29 2018

Today the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reached 426 cases, surpassing the number of cases in the 2000-2001 Uganda outbreak and making it the second worst in history after the 2014 West Africa outbreak which killed over 11,000 people. The emergency response has been complicated by ongoing conflict in North Kivu, where more than 50 armed groups are operating, and where the disease has spread across 14 health zones. As of today, the outbreak has seen 426 cases of infection, 245 deaths, with a case fatality rate of 57%.

On multiple occasions over the past months, spikes in violence have forced the suspension of efforts to contain the spread of the disease. These security incidents, coupled with community resistance, make contact tracing, vaccination and community mobilisation particularly difficult, which undermines the success of response efforts. The case fatality rate is 57% which is higher than commonly seen at this stage of an outbreak, especially given we have drugs for treatment and vaccine for prevention for the first time, illustrating the challenges for disease control in the North Kivu region.

Michelle Gayer, Senior Director of Emergency Health at the International Rescue Committee, said: “This tragic milestone clearly demonstrates the complexity and severity of the outbreak. While the numbers are far from those from West Africa in 2014, we’re witnessing how the dynamics of conflict pose a different kind of threat: a protracted outbreak is highly likely and the end is simply not in sight. The outbreak is far from under control and it is highly likely that it will not be beaten for another six months. We fear that hundreds more people will lose their life in this outbreak.

“Response teams and health workers on the ground are contending with the impact of years of violent conflict. Communities have endured years of insecurity which has in many cases left them skeptical and fearful of authorities. This is hampering community engagement, and coupled with insecurity means those at risk can’t always seek the care they need. We’ve also experienced a number of temporary lock-downs which see health services halted completely. The huge number of displaced people in the region – some one million people – complicates matters further, because the risk of transmission is higher and the critical work of tracing contacts is at best delayed, and at worst, impossible.

“This combination of insecurity, community resistance and disrupted or failing health services amounts to a perfect storm for disease transmission. The international community must continue to pay attention to this crisis or it will likely spiral, costing further lives and possibly spreading over national borders. Yes we need to see more funds and resources mobilised, but also address the impacts of the protracted conflict in DRC. We not only want to put an end to this outbreak but protect and restore people’s health, lives and dignity in this beleaguered region. Whilst we do not, this vast region’s population will continue to suffer and be the source of many future outbreaks that can threaten international health security.”

The International Rescue Committee is on the ground in North Kivu strengthening infection control practices in 51 health facilities, as well as training and mentoring healthcare workers to identify, isolate and refer suspected cases. Via existing teams in the area, the IRC is working to inform the community about the Ebola virus and highlighting the necessary precautions and steps to take if symptoms occur. The IRC is also providing specialised services for women and girls to address the issues they face across the emergency. The work also aims to increase their access to Ebola services and to ensure their voices and experiences are informing any Ebola interventions including community and prevention work.

With more than 13 million people in need of aid, DRC is one of the world’s most complex, chronic and long-standing humanitarian crises. The IRC has been operating in the DRC since 1996 and is a lead humanitarian actor in North Kivu, providing healthcare, women’s protection and empowerment, reproductive health, and child protection to hundreds of thousands of people affected by conflict.

Notes to editors:

To download photos of the IRC’s Ebola response in North Kivu, click here.

For more information on the IRC’s Ebola response, click here.

Previous large Ebola outbreaks

West Africa 2014 – largest in history: 28,610 cases, 11,308 deaths (39.5% death rate)

Uganda 2000 – previous second largest in history: 425 cases, 224 deaths (52.7% death rate)

Yambuku, DRC 1976 – previous largest and first recorded in DRC: 318 cases, 280 deaths (88.1% death rate)

Canadian NGO Awards Cuban Doctors against Ebola

Source:  Prensa Latina
July 4 2016

Canadian non-governmental organization Help to Fight Ebola (HFEC) delivered an award called Friends of Humanity in Africa to the government of Cuba and the Cuban doctors who helped to fight the Ebola virus.

raul bids farewell tomedical brigade heading for sierra leone.jpgThe distinction was received in a special ceremony, by the Cuban General Consul in Toronto, Canada, Javier Domokos Ruiz, on behalf of the Cuban authorities and the doctors and nurses who took part in the struggle against the Ebola virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry.

javier domokos ruiz cuba.JPGIn his words Domokos reminded the important Cuban contribution in moments in which panic and individualism prevailed, in the middle of one of the most recent and hardest sanitary crises the world has ever faced.

‘The Cuban doctors were already in the affected areas when the epidemic came in, as part of the long page of solidarity of the island with the brothers and sisters from African nations and that it has seen more than 70 thousand public health professionals in African soil’, underlined the diplomat.

fidel y Marti 2.jpgHe noted as well as, that is was thanks to the humanist and universal vision of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, that the country set at the disposal of many nations, the prestige and the high medical quality of its physicians, through the united work of the international brigade Henry Reeve.

In the ceremony there were present out-standing personalities of the political, scientific and business life of Canada.

The main speech at the event was given by Ndaba Mandela, grandson of the legendary

ndaba mandela2

Ndaba Mandela

fighter South African anti-apartheid Nelson Mandela.

Answering to calls of help expressed by Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the Organization of United Nations (UNO) and the World Health Organization in October 2014, Cuba sent 256 members of the Henry Revee contingent, to face the virus of the Ébola in Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In these three nations of West Africa, the Cuban medical personnel, in addition to being employed at the remedy of the dangerous virus, contributed also to the sanitary prevention, something that there recognized the authorities of the affected nations and of international.

WHO to Announce End of Ebola in Liberia, Thanks to Cuba

Source:  TeleSUR
June 9 2016The Ebola virus has devastated parts of West Africa.

The Ebola virus has devastated parts of West Africa. | Photo: Reuters
The Ebola virus is expected to be all but gone in Liberia, thanks in large part to the work of Cuban doctors in Africa.

The World Health Organization is expected to announce Thursday that the Ebola virus in Liberia has been adequately controlled according to the New Straits Times.

RELATED:  Cuban Doctors Arrive in South Africa to Revamp Healthcare

Liberia will have passed the WHO threshold of 42 days since the last known patient tested negative for the second time. The WHO declared an end to Ebola in neighboring Guinea just last week, but warned that the virus still remained a threat.

Cuban doctors were among some of the heroes who helped tackle the Ebola virus in West Africa.Cuba sent hundreds of doctors to the affected areas to provide care and training for locals.

WATCH: Sierra Leone: Cuban doctors reducing Ebola cases

In February 2015, a team of Cuban doctors who were helping to fight Ebola in West Africa were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

The Ebola virus epidemic began in West Africa in December 2013 with Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone the worst hit countries with over 28,000 reported cases. The death toll of the virus was approximately 10,000 according to the WHO in December 2014.

RELATED: New Ebola Outbreak in Guinea Kills 7

The virus affected a number of African countries and sparked fears of a global catastrophe with governments threatening travel ban restrictions to the worst-affected countries. It left economies and health systems in West Africa in ruins.

Health professionals in Liberia said that the international response to Ebola in West Africa was well below what was needed.

It is mostly acknowledged that without the aid of Cuba and its doctors, very little would have been done to stop the outbreak.

Cuban doctors have been pivotal in providing care and training in disaster-affected areas around the world, most recently in Ecuador’s devastating earthquake.

Over 30,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities

Source:  Granma
May 25, 2016

by: AIN | internet@granma.cu

The University of Havana marked Africa Day, celebrated each May 25, with a panel discussion entitled “Rethinking Africa, its history and contemporaneity”

nkrumah's statue in ethiopia 2.jpg

A bronze statue of Ghanaian leader, Kwame Nkrumah, presides over the entrance of the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a tribute to this pioneer of African independence. Photo: Reuters

The University of Havana marked Africa Day, celebrated each May 25, with a panel discussion entitled “Rethinking Africa, its history and contemporaneity”.

During the event, the strong bonds of brotherhood that unite both peoples, stemming from solidarity efforts, and the benefits of cooperation in sectors such as education, health and sports were highlighted.

Clara Pulido, coordinator for Africa and the Middle East of the International Relations Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, noted that consolidating peace, independence and regional integration for development, are common goals.

cuban trained south african doctor.jpg

Dr. Matsobane Lekalakala who was trained in Cuba and now works at Thabaleshoba Health Centre in Limpopo,South Africa

Referring to social programs and the training of human resources, she explained that more than 30,000 Africans have graduated from Cuban universities.

 

In the presence of African diplomats, academics and students, Pulido highlighted Cuban collaboration in countries of the African Union (AU), and especially the work of the medical brigade that fought the Ebola epidemic in Guinea Conakry, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

She also expressed thanks for the support provided by member states of the AU in the island’s fight to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for over half a century.

The independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Regarding pending issues for the African continent, Pulido pointed to the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, whose territories are still occupied by Morocco.

juan_almeida_bosqueShe also stressed the strong African heritage in Cuba, antonio maceo 5c.jpg

referring to national heroes such as Antonio Maceo and Juan Almeida Bosque.

The event also provided an opportunity to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean nation.

Cuba-Africa collaboration: A bridge between sister nations

Source:  Granma
My 20 2016

By: Laura Prada | informacion@granma.cu

Cuba’s legacy of collaboration in Africa is one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts

cuba in africa.jpg

Cuban collaboration in Africa. Photo: Granma

Cuba is always ready and willing to offer services wherever they are needed

Cuba is renowned for its worldwide collaboration efforts, due among other reasons, to the readiness of Cuban doctors to go wherever they are needed, including remote areas or in response to natural disasters or epidemics.

Likewise, educational and sports specialists share their knowledge in several sister nations, while technicians from other spheres such as agriculture also make an important contribution.

The fact is that Cuban collaborators are always ready and willing to offer services wherever they are needed.

Collaboration in Africa – one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts

fidel in africa.jpgIt is precisely Cuba’s legacy of collaboration in Africa that represents one of the finest examples of the island’s solidarity efforts.

In May 1963, Algeria was the first African country to receive an international medical brigade sent from Cuba, where 55 collaborators offered services to the people of that nation for one year.

Later, in the 1970s and 80s, Ethiopia and Angola, among other countries, received medical and military assistance. A contingent of teachers was sent to Angola, where they remained over the course of eight academic years, even during the country’s independence struggles.

Over one million Cubans have provided services in more than 160 countries worldwide

Since the triumph of the Revolution through 2015, over one million Cubans have provided services in more than 160 countries worldwide, while almost 30,000 health, education, sports, science, and construction collaborators, among other disciplines, have offered assistance across the entire African continent.

International collaboration is without a doubt one of the fundamental components of the Revolution’s foreign policy; a non-political initiative based on the principles of solidarity and humanism. Despite having reached various countries across the globe, Cuban collaboration has been concentrated in sister nations of the Third World.

When reviewing the island’s international collaboration efforts it is impossible not to mention cooperation in the sphere of health, which has won Cuba worldwide recognition and prestige.

One of the most recent examples, recognized globally, and by organizations such as the African Union, United Nations and World Health Organization, was the brigade of 256 Cuban health professionals – members of the Henry Reeve Contingent – sent to Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone, to help combat the Ebola epidemic.

raul bids farewell tomedical brigade heading for sierra leone.jpg

 

WHO declares West Africa Ebola free

Source:  Granma
January 15 2016

International News Staff

A country is considered to be Ebola free if no new cases are reported for 42 days

Cuban doctors respond to Ebola threat in Africa.jpgCuba was the first country to respond to the emergency, announcing that it would initially send a group of 165 health collaborators to Sierra Leone, a number which later increased. 
Photo: Granma

GENEVA.— Thursday, January 14, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an end to the Ebola epidemic which erupted two years ago in West Africa, killing over 11,300 people.

rick brennan.jpg“Today WHO declares the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia, the outbreak that was associated with the flare-up of cases in mid-November,” said Rick Brennan, director of the WHO’s Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian Response.

Before Liberia, the WHO had previously declared an end to the lethal epidemic in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

A country is considered to be Ebola free if no new cases are reported for 42 days, reported German media chain DW.

UNICEF highlighted that almost 23,000 children have been orphaned in these nations after losing one or both parents to the virus. 

At the outbreak of the epidemic, the WHO and the UN called on the international community to join forces to combat the virus. 

raul bids farewell to cuban doctors leaving for west africa oct 24 2014During a September 2014 meeting in Geneva, Cuba was the first country to respond to the emergency, announcing that it would initially send a group of 165 health collaborators to Sierra Leone, a number which later increased. 

Margaret ChanNumerous media outlets and international figures such as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and WHO Director, Dr. Margaret Chan, acknowledged the island’s contribution to the fight. 

U.S. newspaper The New York Times noted that Cuba’s attitude should be “lauded and emulated,” adding that “The Cuban health care workers will be among the most exposed foreigners.”

Cuba’s participation in the struggle is not an isolated case, but rather forms part of worldwide solidarity efforts undertaken over 55 years of Revolution.

Source:  WHO declares West Africa Ebola free

Cuba’s IPK has trained more than 54 thousand professionals from 104 countries

Source:  La Santa Mambisa
May 8, 2015

(Google translation)

Since 1979, the Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri (IPK) has prepared  more than 54 000 people from 104 countries, according to Dr. Nereyda Cantelar  Francisco, deputy director, Sciences, of the IPK in Havana.

prof Nereyda CantelarSpeaking to the National Information Agency, Dr. Cantelar, who is also director of the Biomedicine Section of the National Commission of Scientific Degrees of Cuba, said that a total of five thousand two hundred foreigners have received some kind of training at the IPK.

The training needed for combating the Ebola virus

Since 1979, the professor has worked in this school of the Ministry of Public Health, which has achieved remarkable results that address the needs of the country in relation to the specialty of microbiology graduate programs, courses, diploma and with a doctoral plan of relevance to the needs of the country.

In 2014 the IPK highlighted the training needed for the Ebola virus –  for its own staff, health workers, ministries of Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and others, with a view to preparing the nation to face this virus if it were introduced in Cuba, Dr Cantelar explained.

In addition, doctors and nurses who completed missions in West Africa, particularly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry, were trained at the IPK, she added

400,000 persons trained from 38 countries

In total 400 thousand people from about 38 countries were trained. The role played by Cuba in fighting the Ebola virus, was recognized by the World Health Organization, the United Nations and various states, she said.

Salome3The IPK serves tropical medicine and infectious diseases, infectious profiles clinic, epidemiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, entomology and vector control, among others.

This year the institution has a comprehensive training plan, and highlights the International Dengue Course to be held in August, which expects participation from specialists in the world, she announced.

The IPK has two collaborating centers

Cantelar Francisco explained that the IPK has two collaborating centers of the Pan American and World Health organizations: one is that of dengue and other viral diseases and Tuberculosis and other mycobacteria.

During 50 years in the training of specialists in microbiology and over 30 in the activity of Scientific Degrees in Medical Sciences, Nereyda Cantelar Francisco, Professor, Consultant and Merit, and Researcher, has been noted for her teaching and research in teaching and ethics; and has trained several generations of microbiologists from all Cuba.

Source:  Cuba: The IPK has prepared more than 54 thousand professionals from 104 countries  La Santa Mambisa

All Cuban doctors that fought Ebola back in Cuba

Source: Cuban News Agency
April 2, 2015

The last group of Cuban doctors and nurses that fought Ebola in Sierra Leone arrived this Wednesday in Cuba from that Western Africa country,

cuban ebola medics return2The 64 health workers arrived at night at the Juan Gualberto Gomez International Airport in Varadero, after spending six months in a risky mission to save the lives of those people afflicted with the disease.

A 310-300 aircraft, from the Portuguese airline Whyte, landed at 10:12 pm with such precious human cargo, and the joy and satisfaction for the accomplishment was evident on the face of each of them.

The workers of the airport gave them an enthusiastic reception on behalf of all Cubans and they were immediately transported to the hospital where will undergo the process of surveillance and control established for all those arriving from countries affected by Ebola.

On Sunday, March 23, a first group of 150 health staff, 98 of them from Sierra Leone and Liberia 52, returned to the country

Over 250 Cuban doctors and nurses are members of the Henry Reeve contingent, who at the call of the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, and the World Health Organization, traveled in October 2014, to fight the virus also in Guinea Conakry.

In these three countries in West Africa, the most affected by the disease, the Cuban health staff played not only a major role in curing Ebola, but on prevention, as recognized by the authorities of those nations and international organizations.

Source:  All Cuban doctors that fought Ebola back in Cuba  Cuban News Agency

Cuban Medical Professionals Return from Africa

Source:  Cuban News Agency
HAVANA, Cuba,
March 23 2015

Following a successful mission against Ebola in Africa, 150 Cuban medical professionals returned home, 98 of them worked in Sierra Leone and 52 in Liberia.

cuban medics arrive in Cuba from west africa 1The medical brigade arrived at early hours Monday at the Juan Gualberto Gomez international airport in Varadero, western Matanzas province, after a nearly five-month mission that contributed to save over 400 lives threatened by the Ebola virus in Africa.

cuban medics arrive in cuba from west africa 2They are part of the Henry Reeve International Contingent, which groups 256 medical workers, who traveled to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea following the call by the United Nations and the World Health Organization to fight the lethal disease in those African nations.

cuban medics arrive in cuba from west africa 3Following their arrival here, the medical personnel will be submitted to an epidemiological control established for all persons coming from countries affected by the Ebola virus.

Sources:
Cuban Medical Professionals Return from Africa, CubanNews Agency
Photos

Cuban medical team concludes a successful Ebola response support mission to Liberia

Source: WHO

Cubans thanked as Liberia marks the second week of zero cases of Ebola

As Liberia marks the second week of Zero cases of Ebola, the Cuban medical team through the Cuban Government Health Attaché announced conclusion of the team’s successful Ebola Response mission in the country. The Attaché was addressing a ceremony organized by the Ministry of Health in partnership with UNMEER, World Health Organization and US CDC to bid farewell to the team.

cuban doctors ready to leave liberia 2The Cuban team was comprised of 53 medical officers including, doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, intensive care doctors, general practitioners, surgeons, pediatricians, intensive care nurses, anesthetists, and license nurses. They were among the first largest foreign medical team from a single country to respond to this outbreak. Before deployment, the team underwent basic initial training on Ebola in Cuba and on arrival in Liberia received second training equipping them to safely work in an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) based at the Ministry of Defense compound in Monrovia.

While in Liberia, the team operated under the banner of the World Health Organization within a multinational engagement. WHO staff, Liberian medical personnel, Cubans, African Union, and Swedish teams worked alongside each other. The quality of work has been high as evidenced with no healthcare worker infection from the beginning to end of the Cuban team’s mission. The last EVD case managed by the team was discharged on February 10.

In total, the team managed 198 admissions between 6 November 2014 and 4 February 2015. 54 of them were confirmed cases. The team covered day and night shifts, weekends, and holidays including both Christmas and New Year.

We are grateful to the government of Cuba

In bidding farewell to the team on behalf of the Government of Liberia, the Acting Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer Dr Beatrice Dahn, acknowledged that the country is “on the verge of defeating the Ebola virus and eliminating the disease from our Liberia. All this would not have been possible if we had not received the level of national and international response to fight against this deadly disease. I am extremely grateful to the government of Cuba for identifying with Liberia during our hour of distress”.

cuban medical workers arrive in liberiaThe Cuban medical team arrived (photo left) at a time when there was a dire need for human resource to support the response, according to Dr Emmanuel Musa, Deputy WHO Country Representative. Dr Musa thanked the Government of Cuba for this great contribution and congratulated the Government of Liberia for providing an enabling environment to work.

cuban healthh minister morales y who's dir gen margaret chanTheir deployment followed from a commitment of the Government of Cuba to the UN Secretary General Dr Ban Ki-moon, the Director General of World Health Organization, Dr Margret Chan, and Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia.

Source:  Cuban medical team concludes a successful Ebola response support mission to Liberia WHO AFrica