Kinshasa/Nairobi/Geneva, 05 June 2018 A Red Cross medical team has been deployed to the centre of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The team – made up of doctors, nurses and water and sanitation experts from six Red Cross Societies – will support five health facilities in the city of Mbandaka to prevent the spread of the disease and to support people who have been infected. So far, 25 people have been killed by the virus.

Chiran Livera, who is leading the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)’s emergency operation, said:

“New suspected cases of the Ebola virus have been detected in rural areas, and we fear that if more cases are found, health facilities may be overstretched. It is therefore vital for health facilities and health workers to have access to additional support and expertise.”

The team will advise national health staff on Ebola infection prevention control so that health care workers and other patients are protected from further transmission of the disease.

“Unlike many other diseases, the management of Ebola requires more meticulous and rigorous screening. To get ahead of this disease and contain it before it spreads to other cities and beyond DRC’s borders, additional staff is needed to ensure proper assessment and infection prevention and control for patients,said Livera.

IFRC and the DRC Red Cross are working as part of a larger coordinated response alongside government authorities, the World Health Organization and other international and national partners.

Alongside the deployment of this expert team, Red Cross volunteers are expanding into four neighbouring provinces with awareness raising activities to ensure communities are prepared and can response should Ebola spread into their areas. IFRC is also working with Red Cross societies from the nine countries neighboring the DRC to activate readiness and preparedness mechanisms.

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Media contacts

In Kinshasa: France Hurtubise +243 89 718 3541, crccomms3@gmail.com

In Nairobi: Euloge Ishimwe, +254 731 688 613, euloge.ishimwe@ifrc.org

In Geneva: Laura Ngô-Fontaine, +41 79 959 3662, laura.ngofontaine@ifrc.org

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