DRC: CAFOD Responds To Ebola Crisis

KINSHASA, JULY 23, 2019 (CISA) – The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, has called upon the international community and the Congolese people to provide support to halt the spread of Ebola in the country.

“Halting the spread of this appalling disease requires a massive effort, on the part of the international community as well as the Congolese people and health authorities,” said Christine Allen, CAFOD Director during a visit in the country last week.

Welcoming the declaration by WHO that Ebola outbreak in the country is a global health emergency, Christine said building trust within communities is very critical and that local aid agencies should receive the funding needed to respond in their communities where they are dispelling myths and making sure people understand how the Ebola virus is transmitted, how it is treated and how to prevent infection.

Bernard Kateta Balibuno, the CAFOD Country Representative in DRC, said that the agency will continue to work in Beni and Butembo, the epicentre of Ebola outbreak and also work with the church in Goma to scale up a health and hygiene campaign.

“We know that the Church networks are closer to the people, and their messages are listened to and accepted. They can reach every corner of this city and are ready to go where others might fear to go,” the CAFOD country representative said.

CAFOD has pledged $80,000 to Caritas Beni and Caritas Butembo to enable them to scale up an awareness-raising campaign in 28 communities with the aim of breaking down the obstacles to people accessing health services, as well as raising awareness of how to approach people exhibiting Ebola symptoms.

Since August 2018, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) figures show that there have been more than 2,500 infected cases and at least 1,600 deaths, making this outbreak the second worst in history.