Democratic Republic of Congo – Alert issued to prevent further Ebola infections in Goma

30 August 2019

(ANS - Goma) - The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been fighting a new Ebola epidemic for over a year. Since 1 August 2018, more than 2,700 people have been affected by Ebola and more than 1,800 have died. Despite the authorities and health workers working tirelessly and talking about control, the population is still not aware of the true consequences of this disease.
"On 18 July the first case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, one of the most populated cities in the DR Congo and the alert was immediately announced," explain the Salesian missionaries who work in the city. The victim was a 46-year-old man. Since then, there have been seven positive Ebola cases in Goma and the city's routine has barely changed.

"Despite the efforts of the Ministry of Health and the preventive measures in place, the population does not respect the directives and does not believe what is happening," they add. The missionaries warn: "They do not believe the explanations of health personnel and do not take into account the preventive measures that are proposed to them."

At the Don Bosco Ngangi youth center and at the technical school where the Salesians work, those responsible keep watch so that children and young people who come every day are in good health. "However, we are concerned about what is happening outside our doors. We are all in touch with the people of the city, with children and young people, with their families, with employees ... We cannot control that measures of prevention are applied out there," they explain from Goma. "In some cases, because they don't believe it, in others because they all wash themselves with the same soap and in the same tub, and in others because the families can't afford to buy disinfectants," they add.

Ebola has spread widely in the province of North Kivu and Ituri, where it remains out of control: 2,850 infections and 1,913 Ebola deaths have been recorded here. The country's authorities confirmed that a mother and her seven-month-old child tested positive for Ebola in Mwenga, in the province of South Kivu, which raises concerns about the risk of international expansion, due to its proximity to countries like Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. This is the most lethal Ebola epidemic in this African country and the second most lethal in the world.

Fear in the Salesian centers of Goma is increasing, given that the educational centers will reopen their doors to hundreds of children and young people in September.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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