Death toll from Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo rose over 1,000, reports the health ministry. DRC's Ebola outbreak started in August and is the second deadliest in history.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it anticipated the nine-month outbreak to continue spreading through the east of DRC, and announced plans to increase vaccinations in the coming weeks.
‘Mistrust and violence are hampering the efforts to control the Ebola epidemic. Community trust and safety, as well as community engagement and ownership of the response, is important to contain the disease.’
Dr. Michael Ryan, deputy director of the WHO stated that mistrust and violence hampered the efforts to tackle the disease.
Although health workers have plenty of vaccine supplies, hostility towards medical staff is making it hard to get to affected communities and is hindering the programme.
There have been 119 documented attacks on staff and medical centers since January, says Dr. Ryan. WHO team expected "continued intense transmission," he added, during a briefing to media in Geneva.
Over 100,000 people have been vaccinated so far, and the treatment has been extremely effective.
Most Ebola outbreaks are over quickly and affect small numbers of people. Only once before has an outbreak been still growing over eight months after it began - that was the epidemic in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, which killed 11,310 people.
"This epidemic cannot be controlled without a really notable shift in the response," Ryan said.
"Community trust, safety, as well as community engagement and ownership of the response is essential."