Galleries Ebola crisis in DR Congo

The United Nations is undertaking an Ebola awareness campaign in Democratic Republic of Congo to try and contain the crisis in north Kivu in the east

Hugh Kinsella Cunningham/EPA-EFE

In the city of Butembo at the epicentre of the crisis, the Ebola death toll exceeds 1,000.

Despite multiple new cases of the disease there is widespread community resistance to health workers, and continuing armed conflict in the area is worsening the situation

People who get infected with the virus are unlikely to survive. Studies from the 2014 outbreak in West Africa show that between 60 and 80 per cent of cases were linked to Ebola-infected bodies at traditional burials.

The International Red Cross Federation has urged the global community to increase efforts to contain the virus before it escalates further.

At the moment the financial situation for many of the humanitarian organisations is quite dire,’ said Emanuele Capobianco, a Red Cross director.

Mr Capobianco said efforts to provide communities with safe and dignified burials had been successful, but the Red Cross has received less than half of the $30 million (£24 million) needed to make the region safe.

Soldiers from the Congolese national army (FARDC) guard positions that overlook the ‘triangle of death’, where the ADF militia group operates in Beni, north Kivu.

The conflict with rebel groups has made it harder for aid agencies to reach the area and deal with the outbreak.

 The region’s Ebola epidemic has been growing since last August, twenty per cent of overall cases have occurred in just the past three weeks.

Mr Capobianco said that without more funding, ‘activities will have to be scaled down and the impact on the epidemic will be extremely serious’.

Grahame White