Anti-Ebola Radio Station Closes Down After Broadcaster’s Murder

 

A local radio station that has been involved in the fight against Ebola in eastern DR Congo said Monday it was closing down after one of its broadcasters was murdered.

Joel Musavuli, head of Lwemba radio in Mambasa in Ituri province, told AFP that the station had been targeted by armed groups hostile to the campaign to roll back the Ebola epidemic.

“Each of us have received threats since last month. We have now decided to stop broadcasting, Musavuli said, adding that he himself had escaped two kidnap attempts.

“We are victims of our commitment to the awareness campaign about the spread of Ebola virus disease. We don’t know why the militiamen are targeting us.”

Nearly 2,200 people have died since the notorious haemorrhagic disease erupted in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in August 2018, according to the latest official figures.

The fight against the outbreak has been hampered by local fears and superstititions, exploited by militia groups that are rampant in the remote region.

Several health workers have been killed and media that have supported the campaign have received threats. Several radio stations in the Mambasa area say they have stopped broadcasting anti-Ebola messages because of intimidation.

On November 2, Lwemba broadcaster Papy Mahamba was killed at his home by unidentified men. His wife was injured and their house set ablaze.

The station said the authorities had failed to take action against the threats. It said it would resume broadcasts after “the state has restored authority in the area”.

AFP

Mali Declared Ebola Free

Ebola_VictimMali’s Health Minister declared the West African nation free of Ebola on Sunday following a 42-day period without a new case of the deadly virus.

Mali recorded six deaths from Ebola, which, according to World Health Organization data, has killed more than 8,400 people in neighbouring Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in the worst epidemic of the viral haemorrhagic fever on record.

“I declare on this day, January 18, 2015, the end of the Ebola epidemic in Mali,” Ousmane Koné said in a statement in which he thanked the country’s health workers and international partners for their work to halt the outbreak.

The country “had come out” of the epidemic, confirmed Ibrahima Soce Fall, the head of the Malian office of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

Mali’s last infected patient recovered and left hospital early last month. At one point health officials had been monitoring more than 300 contact cases.

Mali became the sixth West African country to record a case of Ebola when a two-year-old girl from Guinea died in October. It was close to being declared Ebola free in November before a second wave of infections hit the country.

At least 21,296 people have so far been infected with the virus, the WHO has said.

Ebola Deaths In West Africa Reaches 1,427 – WHO

Ebola DeathsThe World Health Organisation (WHO) has said on Friday, that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has led to 1,427 deaths out of 2,615 known cases.

In its latest update, the WHO reported 142 new laboratory-confirmed, probable or suspected cases and 77 more Ebola deaths from four affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

Earlier, the WHO said that the scale of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak had been concealed by families hiding infected loved ones in their homes and the existence of “shadow zones” that medics cannot enter.

It is due to issue a global strategy plan towards the end of next week in Geneva.