Ebola treatment centre in Congo re-opens after attack

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An Ebola treatment centre at the epicentre of the current outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resumed operations after it was closed in response to an attack last week, the Congolese health ministry said.

The facility in the city of Butembo was one of two centres torched by unknown assailants in the space of a few days, prompting Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to suspend medical activities.

Aid workers have faced mistrust in some areas as they work to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has become the worst in Congo’s history.

The ministry said the Butembo treatment centre reopened on Saturday. “For now it is managed by the ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organization and UNICEF,” it said in a statement.

MSF has not said when it might resume medical activities in the area, but had earlier reported that their staff were safe. Likewise, WHO staff in the area are all accounted for.

WHO says their teams on the ground will continue to work tirelessly to respond to the challenges.

WHO is working closely with our partners to determine appropriate action to ensure the overall Ebola response is maintained. Working with the Ministry of Health and our partners, our priority continues to be to end the outbreak, WHO added.

The current Ebola epidemic, first declared last August, is believed to have killed at least 561 people so far and infected over 300 more.

Bilkisu Pai