The Red Cross and Red Crescent are working hard to contain Democratic Republic of Congo’s 10th Ebola outbreak, with a special focus on breaking the deadly virus’ chain of transmission.
Six teams of DRC Red Cross volunteers with experience in Safe and Dignified Burials are active in the area affected by the outbreak.
Florent Del Pinto, Head of Emergency Operations with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in DRC, said: “One priority is safe and dignified burials. What we could see in the [2014-15] West Africa outbreak was that 20 per cent of new transmissions were due to unsafe burials.
“We know that at the time of death the body is extremely contagious, and all the family can be at risk. Red Cross volunteers can make sure the burials are happening in a safe way, which will protect the families.”
Red Cross volunteers are also sharing information with communities about how to prevent infection, and what to do if someone starts to experience symptoms.
On 21 August 2018, the IFRC and ICRC launched a revised One International Appeal to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent response to the ongoing 10th outbreak in Kivu and provide continued support for the communities recovering from the 9th outbreak in Equateur. The appeal seeks 9.1 million Swiss francs to support 800,000 people affected by, or at risk from, Ebola for a period of nine months.
The Red Cross and Red Crescent response plan includes risk communication, social mobilization and community engagement, surveillance and response mechanisms, Infection and Prevention Control support to health facilities and at community level, safe and dignified burials, psychosocial support and National Society capacity building.