Friday, September 20, 2019

Ebola Still Virulent in DR Congo

Healthcare workers care for Ebola-stricken patients even after they die, using hazmat suits to guard against infection. Image credit: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

The Ebola epidemic is still raging in DR Congo.  No respite there too.

The World Health Organization notified Thursday that violence had halted efforts to rein in Ebola in one area, even as the spread of the deadly virus intensifies. 

The UN health agency warned that transmission appeared to be worsening, after hard-hit North Kivu and Ituri provinces registered 57 new confirmed Ebola cases in the week leading up to September 17, compared to 40 new cases a week earlier. 

At the same time, WHO said, a number of “localized” security incidents continue to mar the response to the outbreak, including impeding safe burials of the highly contagious bodies as well as the administering of vaccines in the said areas, particularly around Mambasa and Komanda. 

Surely, there is an urgent need for continued and proactive engagement with communities in impacted areas – if Ebola is to be defeated. 

As of Tuesday, DR Congo had registered a total of 3,145 cases of Ebola since the outbreak began in August 2018 – including 2,103 deaths. 

On Wednesday, I was at the office of the Fonterra Global Business Services Asia Sdn Bhd in Tower 4 of the Puchong Financial Corporate Center in Bandar Puteri Puchong, Selangor – for another session of impromptu speaking. 

For this round, however, we intentionally strayed into “persuasive speaking” – and this is an area I would want to particularly put some emphasis on – at least for the next 3 sessions. And we shall still keep to the free-and-easy speaking format. 

Again, loads of learning, loads of sharing and certainly, loads of fun. 

Even more encouraging, I am seeing progress. Progress that is slow and steady but nevertheless, good progress.

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