City of Butembo. © Alexis Huguet

North Kivu, DRC: MSF starts intervention in support of community affected by Ebola


Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supports the national response to the new Ebola outbreak in North Kivu, in north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through a mobile intervention to the benefit of patients, their families and the communities living in the affected area.

“We are supporting the Matanda general hospital, in the Vungi health district, and the Muchanga health centre, in the Muchanga health district, by improving triage and the early identification, diagnosis and admission to care of people potentially sick with Ebola. We are going to provide them with effective treatments to increase their chances of survival and reduce the suffering caused by the disease” explains Homam Shahhoud, who leads MSF’s medical response in North Kivu.

“We are working with local families to identify contacts of confirmed patients and protect them from the disease via the most appropriate tools, based on their level of exposure to the risk of infection. We will provide them with the means to isolate if necessary and to seek immediate medical care in case of symptoms. We will also help existing health facilities in the Katwa health zone and in other areas affected by the outbreak, to strengthen infection prevention and control measures and limit the spread of this deadly”, adds Shahhoud.

“Helping families to cope with the outbreak is critical”, says Shahhoud. “To this end, MSF has developed a community-based approach focussing on dialogue with patients and their families and on supporting people affected by the disease. We need to make sure they have the means to protect themselves and get treated. Our intervention will be flexible and centred on patients’ needs: we will intervene in the health districts that need help, coordinating with the local health authorities and other partners”, concludes Shahhoud.