Ebola Is Spreading Rapidly in Eastern Congo, Fueled by Mistrust of Health Workers

Ebola Is Spreading Rapidly in Eastern Congo, Fueled by Mistrust of Health Workers
A health worker at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, eastern Congo, April 16, 2019 (AP photo by Al-hadji Kudra Maliro).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Senior Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

It’s been more than eight months since the Democratic Republic of Congo announced the first cases in its current Ebola outbreak, which has become the worst in the country’s history. According to the World Health Organization’s latest situation report, published Tuesday, the outbreak has resulted in more than 1,200 cases and more than 800 deaths.

Yet when President Felix Tshisekedi traveled this week to eastern Congo, where the outbreak is unfolding, he bore a message that underscored how not everyone has come to terms with the danger Ebola poses. “It is not an imaginary disease,” Tshisekedi said in remarks in the city of Beni, adding that residents should “follow the instructions” of health workers.

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