DR Congo: Malteser International helps fight Ebola
Two years after the Ebola epidemic claimed more than 10,000 lives in West Africa, a renewed outbreak of the disease has been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three people have died after contracting the deadly virus in the country’s north-eastern province of Bas-Uélé. Very few aid organizations are active in Bas- Uélé, which makes rapid international aid very difficult. Just like the World Health Organization, Malteser International now supports local health facilities in the province to prevent further spread of the virus and loss of lives. To this end, comprehensive protective equipment (protective suits, rubber boots, respiratory masks and body bags) will be distributed to health facilities by Malteser International staff.
Because doctors and nursing staff are particularly at risk of contracting the highly contagious disease, Malteser International also plans to organize trainings for the hospital staff and local population in early detection of the disease and safe treatment of patients. “At this stage, it is very important that the epidemic does not spread any further and cost more human lives,” says Roland Hansen, Head of the Africa team at Malteser International.
Malteser International has been working in the east of the DR Congo for many years and became active in Bas-Uélé a year ago thanks to support from the German Federal Foreign Office (AA). Malteser International’s project in the province aims to improve medical care and hygiene conditions for patients, accompanying persons and hospital staff, while also subsidizing treatment for patients. In addition to the delivery of medicines and technical equipment to hospitals, the project also includes an infection prevention component. Also as part of the project, hospital staff who have received only basic training undergo further training.