BMJ blog: Congo's Ebola epidemic - a failed response and the need for a reset (2)

3 June, 2019

Neil thanks for sharing this update in the Ebola in DRCongo.

We particularly commiserate and console the families of all health workers that have lost their lives from attacks from un / ill informed people and from the disease itself during this epidemic. May their supreme sacrifice never be in vain.

So, it appears that the ‘failure’ of the current response to the ongoing Ebola in DR Congo epidemic are: ‘armed groups/ conflict’, ‘distrust of government’, and ‘socioeconomic injustices’.

None of the suggested ‘next steps’ come easy but they are very welcome as they come from the personal experience in the field of the authors: ‘Normalising Ebola’, ‘Improving access to diagnostics’, ‘Humanising Ebola’.

We would welcome more on the ‘distrust of government’ and how that can be tackled using the widest multisectoral, multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary approaches that are already in practice in the health system of DR Congo. What led to loss of trust and how can that be tackled very urgently because in the end, to control/ eliminate the epidemic and sustain any success will depend heavily on re-gaining the trust of the population in the government and health service. In the same vein we wish to hear more about the ‘socioeconomic injustices, which may be part of the reason for the mistrust.

Answers to these questions are needed urgently if this human tragedy in DR Congo is to be eliminated.

Joseph Ana


@Health Resources International (HRI) WA.

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HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group: jneana AT