DRC: Doctors Without Borders worried on attack

Doctors Without Borders General Director, Meinie Nicolai. Photo: French Media

Johannesburg, South African (ADV) – Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has suspended medical activities at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kwata, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following an attack at the facility.

According to media reports, the MSF-managed treatment centre saw unrevealed attackers throwing stones and setting part of the facility on fire recently leaving the wards and equipment destroyed.

MSF’s General Director, Meinie Nicolai, expressed displeasure at this incident.

“Although the reasons behind the attack are unclear and such violence is unacceptable, what we know is that the actors of the Ebola response – MSF included – have failed to gain the trust of a significant part of the population,” said Nicolia.

“All those involved in this response must change their approach and truly engage with the grievances and fears of the communities.”

MSF’s Emergency Coordinator in Katwa, Emmanuel Massart, said, “this attack was traumatic for patients, their relatives and staff present inside the centre at the time. We managed to relocate all four confirmed and six suspected patients to nearby treatment centres, but this attack has crippled our ability to respond to what is now the epicentre of the outbreak.”

More than six months after the beginning of the Ebola outbreak in North-Kivu and Ituri, the epidemic is not under control with more than 870 confirmed patients and more than 540 deaths.

MSF activities in the Ebola response continue in Butembo, Bunia, Bwena Sura, Kayna and Biena.

Doctors Without Borders is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation of French origin best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.

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