Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has voiced grave concerns that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is not under control and has called for efforts to change the direction of the response.
It said deepening community mistrust has meant that despite the rapid and large response to the outbreak, people are simply not coming forward for treatment. “We have a striking contradiction: on the one hand, a rapid and large outbreak response with new medical tools such as vaccines and treatments that show promising outcomes when people come early, and on the other hand, people with Ebola are dying in their communities and do not trust the Ebola response enough to come forward,” said International President of MSF, Dr Joanne Liu.
To address this, MSF said the response needs to become more patient and community centred. “Ebola is a brutal disease, bringing fear and isolation to patients, families and health care providers,” said Dr Joanne Liu. “Patients must be treated as patients and not as some kind of biothreat.”
The warning comes as the latest figures show that as of 5 March, 907 Ebola cases have been reported with 569 deaths.