Rumors, conflict challenge Ebola response in eastern Congo

21 September, 2018

Rumors, conflict challenge Ebola response in eastern Congo


Extracts below. Full text here:


The latest Ebola outbreak in Congo presents complex challenges as the virus spreads for the first time in an area where long-running conflict is hampering aid efforts, the regional Africa chief for the International Federation of the Red Cross said Wednesday...

"Transmission is continuing, but it's a slow transmission," Nafo-Traore said. "It's a complex operation because of the insecurity in the region, because of the difficult access, and also because of the behavior of the population in the affected areas."

As often when Ebola enters a new area, alarm and suspicion of outsiders have presented challenges.

Rumor confounds aid workers' efforts. The Red Cross has noted several: It's a plot to influence voters before Congo's December elections; health workers can't be trusted; the disease doesn't exist; aid groups are out to make money or dupe people.

"Some are thinking that the Ebola response is a scam," Nafo-Traore said.

"There are many types of rumors and we need to know about this to reorganize ourselves to convince them (that they are) fake news," she added.


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 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (, which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: