Tag Archives: Congo

Ebola patient passed away in Uganda

The nine-year-old girl  from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), , who was tested positive this week for the Ebola virus in Uganda, died on August 30 morning. (Image: illustration).

“She died around 8 AM this morning,Yusuf Baseka, director of health services for Kasese District, southwestern Uganda told AFP. The child was in isolation in a health center in Bwera, in the same district of Kasese. The body of the girl “is being repatriated” in the DRC, with his mother who accompanied her daughter’s  remains, he said.

“I want to reassure all Ugandans and non-Ugandans that we have the full capacity to control Ebola. Stay calm and vigilant,” tweeted Ugandan Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng before the announcement of the girl’s death. She is the fourth person diagnosed with Ebola in Uganda to die.

In June, three family members diagnosed in Uganda, after contracting the disease in the DRC, died. Two died on Ugandan soil and the third in the DRC after being repatriated. In late July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Uganda free from Ebola, with no other cases reported in the meantime.

The contaminated girl arrived at the Mpondwe crossing point on the DRC-Uganda border this week to seek medical help in Bwera, according to the Ugandan Ministry of Health. In Mpondwe, where Uganda has sanitary controls in place, medical teams have noted that Ebola-like symptoms include fever, generalized weakness, rash and unexplained blood loss in the mouth. , according to the same source.

Blood tests confirmed that she was “Ebola positive“. The Ministry pointed out that since it had been controlled at the border, it had not come into contact with anyone in Uganda.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever, highly contagious, causes the death of between 25% and 90% of patients, according to the WHO. There is no commercialized treatment or vaccine, but several leads are being tested. It is spread through direct contact with blood, body secretions (sweat, stool, etc.), through sexual intercourse and through the improper handling of contaminated cadavers.

A total of 2,006 people died of Ebola in the DRC in a year, and Ugandan authorities, who fear the virus is spreading in their country, have taken strict preventive measures. Nearly 18,000 people cross the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda daily, according to Ugandan government statistics.

Angola and Congo fires ignored

More fires than in Amazon are burning in Africa according to the NASA data. The data said there were 6,902 fires in Angola and 3,395 fires in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, compared with 2,127 fires in Brazil.

Information for Resource Management Map (FIRMS) shows a large swatch of fire across Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The alarming area of these fires has left some people puzzled why so much attention is being paid to the Amazon, while on the surface it appears Africa is alight with even more blazes.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has led the charge for international relief and solutions for the Amazon wildfire and has pledged aid from France, announced that he would consider starting a similar initiative for sub-Saharan Africa.

However, there are several issues to consider when comparing the two situations: the first difference to understand is that the impact of a wildfire depends more on where and what it is burning, than on how big it is, or indeed how many fires there are.

The vast majority of the African fires currently burning are observed in grasslands in exactly the places we expect to see fires at this time of year. These fires are usually lit by cattle farmers as part of their traditional management of the Savannah where their animals graze. Some fires are started to stimulate new growth of nutritious grass for their animals, others are used to control the numbers of  parasitic ticks or manage the growth of thorny shrub.

The experts, criticizing archaic methods, say that the farming technique, known as slash and burn, is controversial as environmentalists warn it can lead to deforestation, soil erosion and a loss of biodiversity.

But for the farmers it is the cheapest way to clear land, has the advantage of killing disease and the ash provides nutrients for future crops. Burning fields archaic method remains popular among Africans.

It happens every year ahead of the rainy season, which is expected to start in Angola and Congo in the next month or so. This traditional farming to some extend  explains why the fires in Africa have not attracted much attention.

Congo government appointed

Democratic Republic of Congo Prime minister announced a new government after eight months of negotiations between President Felix Tshisekedi, who won an election and former President Joseph Kabila, with around two thirds of posts going to allies of the latter.

In the long-delayed election last December, Tshisekedi defeated a candidate officially backed by Kabila, who himself declined further re-elections.

The cabinet list released by Prime Minister Illunga Illunkamba consisted mostly of people with little or no government experience. Of the 65 ministers named, 42 were from Kabila’s coalition and 23 were from Tshisekedi’s.

Kabila’s power is relies on his Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition, which won about 70% of seats in the lower house of parliament and an overwhelming majority of provincial assembly seats in elections also held on December 30, 2018.

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Ebola hits South Kivu

A woman and her child were confirmed with Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s South Kivu region this week, which outlines new challenges in defeating the outbreak.

Health officials expressed their concerns that the latest cases were registered more than 700 km south from the initial epicenter of the outbreak .

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the young woman (24) died, and her 7-month-old son, who is also confirmed to be infected with the Ebola virus, is receiving a relevant treatment.

Ebola disease has killed at least 1,900 people in Congo over the past year.

Tshisekedi shares cabinet with Kabila

Felix Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila reached an agreement to share the main security Presidentand economic cabinet posts between their two coalitions of Democratic Republic of Congo, the sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Kabila’s  Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) and Tshisekedi’s Cap pour le changement (CATCH) both announced publicly that an agreement had been reached after six months of negotiations over the formation of a new government, but they did not immediately provide details.

The FCC had demanded most of the highest-profile ministries by virtue of the majority of ‘Kabilists’ in the parliament.

The protracted talks since Tshisekedi’s inauguration in January have been assessed as exercise of political maturity of both Tshisekedi and Kabila camps.

IMF agrees to bailout Congo Republic

International Monetary Fund (IMF) decision to bailout the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) this week is expected to allocate around $2 billion in funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Reuters news agency reports, referring to its sources.

Following two years of negotiations, the IMF’s executive board approved a three year programme worth nearly $449 million for Congo, an OPEC member suffering a setback by a 2014 crash in crude prices.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Alex Segura-Ubiergo visited Brazzaville to hold discussions toward a possible arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). As a result the proposed ECF-supported program aims to help the Republic of Congo restore macroeconomic stability and achieve higher and more inclusive growth. In particular, the program seeks to restore debt sustainability and targets a wide range of reforms to improve governance, reduce corruption, and achieve greater transparency and efficiency in the management of public resources, especially in the oil sector.

WHO declines Ebola global alert

In a controversial decision, the World Health Organization (WHO) has again declined to declare Africas latest Ebola outbreak global alert, although the desease has killed more than 1400 people and just crossed into a new country.

It was the view of the committee that the outbreak is a health emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, but it does not meet all criteria,Preben Aavitsland, acting chair of an expert committee convened by WHO, said at a press conference  in Geneva, Switzerland.

The committee gathered for the third time after news emerged this week that the virus had spread from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to neighboring Uganda, so far claimed lives of two people there—a 5-year-old boy and his grandmother—who had crossed the border.

Many infectious disease experts and public officials had expected, and called for WHO to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) when Ebola broke out of the DRC.

*I’m baffled and deeply troubled by this decision,Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. “The status quo is no longer tenable. It is time to sound a global alert.”

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