The New Humanitarian: In Congo, a ‘militarised’ Ebola response has fuelled community resistance

3 October, 2019

Extracts below. Full text here:

Bienvenue Tsimbula is worried about Ebola, but he’s now more scared of Ebola response teams. In June, the police escorting one of these teams shot him in his hometown of Aloya, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo...

A July report from the UN's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights highlighted the "disproportionate use of force" by police and army personnel dealing with protests against Ebola responders...

Several aid agencies have warned against the use of security forces by the Ebola response, which Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has described as “militarisation”. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) explained that “increasing armed protection for Ebola responders may aggravate the tensions that already exist between communities and responders”.

Such actions may also have worsened the epidemic.

Aid groups say lack of trust in the response among residents in the outbreak area has stalled containment efforts, allowing the virus, which has now taken more than 2,130 lives, to spread. The distrust has also contributed to over 200 attacks on responders and treatment centres since January, leaving at least seven health workers dead...

Best wishes, Neil

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