Without trust of local communities, Ebola response risks failure
NEW YORK/KATWA, FEBRUARY 26, 2019—All activities at an Ebola Treatment Center in Katwa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have been suspended following a violent attack this past weekend in which the facility was partially burned down, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Tuesday. Suspension of activities at the 70-bed facility will severely limit access to essential health services at a time when the region continues to battle an Ebola outbreak.
At 10 p.m. on February 24, unidentified assailants began throwing stones at the MSF-managed Ebola Treatment Center in Katwa, in DRC’s North Kivu province. They then set parts of the structure on fire, destroying medical wards and equipment. The brother of a patient died while reportedly trying to escape the scene, though the exact circumstances of his death are still unclear. All personnel were evacuated from the center. Six patients classified as suspect and four as confirmed cases were transferred to other facilities.