Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed a case of Ebola in the western province of Equateur, over 1,000 km away from the ongoing outbreak in the country’s east, Health Minister Eteni Longondo told journalists on June 1.
The diagnosis presents a serious challenge to health authorities. In April, Congo was days from declaring the end of the second-largest Ebola epidemic on record when a new series of contaminations was confirmed in the east.
South Africa confirms first case of coronavirus, according to Health ministry.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the coronavirus will turn into a “national crisis” and its impact will be “huge“.
His warning came after the first case of the coronavirus was detected in South Africa.
The patient is a 38-year-old man who recently visited Italy together with his wife.
This brings to 27 the number of coronavirus cases reported on African continent. Algeria is worst-affected, with 17 cases, 16 of them in the same family.
The South African couple, who have two children, were part of a group of 10 who returned from Italy on 1 March, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.
The man and the doctor who first treated him were both in self-isolation in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, he added.
A tracer team had been sent to KwaZulu-Natal to identify people who might have been in contact with the man and the doctor, Dr Mkhize said.
Authorities in Kenya withdrew 10 Cuban doctors from the northeastern region, where suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen abducted two medics last week and moved them into neighboring Somalia. (Image: illustration).
The doctors were recalled from Wajir, Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo and Lamu counties, according to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. The regions are either along or next to those at Kenya’s border with Somalia, where the al-Shabaab militants are active.
The Kenyan government hired 100 Cuban doctors last year to boost healthcare in the country’s underserved areas. The two abducted were based in Mandare county. Elders from the area followed the suspected militants into Somalia to negotiate release of the doctors, Nairobi-based Star newspaper reported.
Militia violence in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has prevented aid workers from reaching some suspected cases in an outbreak of Ebola that has so far took lives of 44 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
At least 1,500 people are in high risk group exposed to the deadly virus in North Kivu province but the violence there prevents the officials from adequate measures to identify all the chains by which it is spreading in the east of the country.
“We don’t know if we are having all transmission chains identified. We expect to see more cases as a result of earlier infections and these infections developing into illness,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said at a news briefing in Geneva.
“The worst-case scenario is that we have these security blind spots where the epidemic could take hold that we don’t know about,” he said.
The WHO, using figures compiled with Congo’s Health Ministry, said confirmed and probable cases numbered 78 in total, including 44 deaths. About 1,500 people have been identified as contacts of infected patients transmitting the disease, which causes fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
The outbreak is spreading across the lush farmlands of eastern Congo. Its epicenter is the town of Mangina in North Kivu province and it has already reached neighbouring Ituri province.
Congo has experienced 10 Ebola outbreaks since the virus was discovered on the Ebola River in 1976, and it has altogether took away some 900 lives, according to registered cases.
Human rights defenders expressed hope the death of a 10-year-old Somali girl bled to death after a failed female genital mutilation (FGM) may help raise awareness about the dangerous health risks associated with the ritual in a country almost 100% of women and girls are cut.
Deeqa Dahir Nuur died from blood loss earlier this week after being subjected to female genital mutilation in one of Somalia’s few reported FGM-related deaths.
Reportedly Nuur died at Dhusamareb hospital two days after her family had taken her to a cutter for female genital mutilation in Olol village. “The circumciser is suspected to have cut an important vein” Hawa Aden Mohamed, the director of a local women’s right group known as Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development said. But by the time Nuur’s family realized they wouldn’t be able to stop the bleeding by themselves, it was too late.
Nuur’s death is one of only a few female genital mutilation-related deaths to have ever been reported in Somalia, a country with the world’s highest rate of FGM practice. But activists have said that just because FGM-related deaths aren’t reported doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.