Save the Children Statement on New Ebola Cases in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Aug. 16, 2019)—In response to two new Ebola cases in South Kivu, Heather Kerr, country director of Save the Children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), said:

“This is extremely sad news—a young mother has died, leaving a baby behind who has also been confirmed positive for Ebola. Once again, women and children have proven to be the most vulnerable in this terrible outbreak. Over 500 children have died already, and the end is not yet in sight.

“The new cases show the virus has spread further south than ever before and this is very worrying. Earlier this week we were hopeful about the reports of new drugs that are effective in the fight against Ebola, and may save thousands of lives. But cases like those in Mwenga territory in South Kivu show that the fight is far from over.

“Having these new drugs is very good news, but for them to work we need to make sure that people who are sick go to a clinic immediately so they have the best chance of survival. Yet winning the trust of communities has been one of the major challenges over the past year, together with the violence that can flare up all of a sudden.

“The international community needs to continue to provide funding to help prevent the virus from spreading further. We need greater investment in awareness raising in communities, in winning their trust—and put more resources into health facilities, as over 60 percent of children in the DRC do not have access to health care. Due to lack of income, parents often find it impossible to send their children to a health center when they become ill and this means they are dying. We cannot let this happen.” 

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