• The 10th Ebola outbreak in the DRC, the second-largest in world history, claimed the lives of 2,287 of the 3,324 patients affected in several provinces on the country’s eastern border. The 11th outbreak, in Équateur Province, affected 13 of the province’s 17 health zones, with 119 confirmed cases and 55 deaths.
• 368,687 people have been vaccinated against Ebola (including 35 698 in Équateur).
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS’ RESPONSE
• International Medical Corps’ Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) have managed more than 696 patients at Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) in Bikoro, Mbandaka and Buburu, including 26 confirmed cases.
• On June 30, when the Mangina ETC in the east was decommissioned, the facility had cared for 3,859 suspected and 422 confirmed Ebola patients.
• International Medical Corps is providing infection prevention and control (IPC) support to 196 health facilities to ensure that healthcare delivery is safe, including 20 new facilities in Équateur.
• Since August 21, 2018, screening and referral units (SRUs) supported by International Medical Corps have provided more than 1,336, 241 screenings for Ebola and 383,666 screenings for COVID-19.
International Medical Corps provides support to control the COVID-19 outbreak in prisons in the DRC
With donor support, International Medical Corps’ COVID-19 control measures have not only focused on community and health facilities, but also on other settings, such as prisons, which pose a particularly high risk for inhabitants.
Prison infrastructure and living conditions, especially in the DRC, increase the risk of spread of communicable diseases, especially those as contagious as COVID-19.
In addition to typical risks such as overcrowding and living in a closed area, prisons in resource-limited settings like the DRC suffer from poor hygiene and sanitation practices due to limited availability of amenities such as clean running water, handwashing points and toilets. Furthermore, inmates often do not receive health information, which hinders adoption of safe and healthy behaviors. This is further compounded by the limited space available for isolating suspect patients and managing confirmed cases, further contributing to the spread of disease.
In recognition of the myriad challenges faced by inmates and prison staff, International Medical Corps provides support to the dispensary in the Goma (Munzenze) Central Prison, home to approximately 2,000 prisoners—more than four times its intended capacity. International Medical Corps has trained prison staff on infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, including safe triage and isolation of suspect cases, medical waste management, decontamination and standard precautions, such as respiratory and hand hygiene as well as shielding against droplet and aerosol transmission. We have placed standard operating procedures at the dispensary, to serve as memory aids for the staff there.