Help Children Impacted by the Ebola Crisis

On June 1, 2020, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared the country's eleventh Ebola outbreak. 

Located in northwestern Equateur province, the eleventh outbreak comes as the DRC declared its biggest Ebola outbreak ever over, with cases first detected in August 2018. Before it was declared over on June 25, 2020, that outbreak, in DRC's northeastern North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri province, recorded 3,470 cases and nearly 2,300 deaths.

At a time when measles, Ebola and COVID-19 each pose a unique and deadly threat to children in the DRC, your support can make a difference. 

The Ebola Crisis: Facts, FAQs and How to Help

In 2014, the Ebola epidemic spread through West Africa at terrifying speed. At its height, five people were being infected every hour in Sierra Leone alone, and the number of cases was doubling every three weeks. Already fragile health systems were quickly pushed to breaking point. Shortages of protective clothing left health workers vulnerable to infection and many died. 

The outbreak was one of the most challenging contexts Save the Children's teams had ever faced. To deal with the Ebola crisis effectively, we had to help build health infrastructure and information systems from scratch – something that would normally take years.

Six years later, the country is facing its eleventh Ebola outbreak in 40 years. The 11th outbreak was declared in Equateur province on June 1, 2020. 

Save the Children remains committed to working within and alongside communities in the DRC to ensure they know how to protect themselves and feel supported through the terrible experience of having a strange and deadly disease on their doorstep.


The Ebola Crisis: Facts, FAQs and How to Help

The Ebola Crisis: Facts, FAQs and How to Help

DRC, a family sits together outside their home DRC, a worker in green walks in front of a health clinic DRC, a group of kids sit together on the side of a hill DRC, a group of kids sit together on the side of a hill DRC, a worker in green walks in front of a health clinic

Timeline: DRC Ebola Outbreaks


The world's largest Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). Across the three worst-affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – almost 25,000 people become infected, including more than 3,600 children.

During the outbreak, at least 16,000 children will lose one or more of their parents, as many of those children become stigmatized by communities fearful of being infected. Hundreds of schools close leading to an educational hiatus that takes children out of learning environments. More than one million children in Liberia alone are affected by the closure of schools as a result of the outbreak.

July 2018

Save the Children deploys a team of medical workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in June to help raise public awareness of the deadly Ebola virus—especially among children.

On August 1, the DRC declares its tenth Ebola outbreak since 1976. 

While the DRC government, with help from the World Health Organization and other partners, is placed to contain this outbreak, the situation is made worse by the mass displacement of civilians in the country’s far east as a result of years of conflict between various armed groups and the government. Because of this the total number of suspected Ebola cases and associated deaths is thought to be underreported. 

October 2018

Aid workers on the frontline of the crisis are met with mistrust and hostility in many communities in conflict-affected North Kivu—one of the regions hardest hit by the outbreak. More than 30 new cases of the disease, the worst on record since the August outbreak began, are confirmed.

The local Ministry of Health announces new measures to stem the country’s outbreak of the deadly virus in including a social media campaign, and the recruitment of local staff to trace people who have been in contact with confirmed cases.

Working alongside the Ministry of Health, Save the Children recruits and trains 230 Community Health Workers who travel door-to-door informing families on how to prevent the spread of the disease through simple steps like handwashing. 

February 2019

Insecurity and violence, combined with the fear and suspicion in some communities, make it difficult to contain the outbreak.

Save the Children continues to raise awareness about the virus to help stop it from reaching Goma, the largest town in the region. To date, we have reached almost 400,000 people in the DRC with information about how to recognize the symptoms of Ebola and how to prevent it. 

The threat of cases spreading across the border to Uganda, where refugees from the DRC continue to arrive daily, grows as Save the Children's trained health workers continue work to prevent and mitigate the spread.

June 2020

The long-running outbreak of Ebola in the country’s northeast is declared over on June 25, 2020. However, as Ebola cases emerge in the northwestern Equateur province, in August, the World Health Organization announces the DRC is facing its 11th Ebola outbreak.

The new outbreak is the second epidemic in Équateur province in less than two years. By October, more than 100 cases are delcared are declared. 


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