BBC: DR Congo gunmen say health workers 'brought Ebola'

24 April, 2019

Read online: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-africa-48019260

A senior official with the World Health Organization (WHO) has described how gunmen stormed a hospital in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, accusing health workers of bringing Ebola to the country, and shooting dead a Cameroon doctor.

Dr Michel Yao, WHO's Ebola response coordinator in DR Congo, said epidemiologist Richard Kiboung was chairing a meeting when two men entered a room at Butembo University Hospital, ordering health workers to lie on the floor and robbing them of their belongings.

Dr Yao said the gunmen then shot dead Dr Kiboung.

He quoted a colleague who was in the same room with the epidemiologist as saying the gunmen "were complaining about how we brought Ebola".

Dr Kiboung had been sent there by WHO in response to the Ebola epidemic and he leaves behind four young children and his wife.

The WHO official said Dr Kiboung was a great leader who was very committed to serving his patients.

Several health workers at treatment centres in DR Congo have been attacked since the current outbreak started in August.

A survey in Ebola-hit areas of DR Congo has shown more than a quarter of people [of those surveyed] do not believe the disease exists.

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org