Fear of COVID-19 grows as more people are displaced in Ituri, DRC

A resurgence of violence in Ituri province, in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has forced more than 200,000 people out of their homes in the last two months. They join more than a million others living in inadequate conditions where they are particularly vulnerable to communicable diseases. MSF has been providing medical care and running water and sanitation activities in 34 places where displaced people are living, and now teams are also working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in these areas. “If COVID-19 reaches the camps, the situation could be catastrophic,” says Abdourahmane Bodian, MSF health promotion supervisor. “We are asking people to use preventive measures but it's difficult for them because no one here has caught COVID-19 yet, so they don't believe the disease exists. That's why our health promotion activities are helpful.” MSF is calling on the international community to respond to the increasingly dire situation in Ituri.