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The Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC) shares news that several of their hospitals in the Equator region are receiving new patients with Ebola. In Ikoko, a village approximately 90 miles from Mbandaka, there are currently 21 cases of Ebola confirmed and 17 individuals have died.
The CDCC is joining partners in the region and is implementing prevention measures to avoid the spread of this dangerous disease. Through these measures, the CDCC is hoping to prevent the virus from spreading into Mbandaka and other surrounding villages. In response to this recent Ebola outbreak, the CDCC plans to:
· Provide protective equipment to Bolenge Hospital and ten CDCC health points located in high risk regions for the current epidemic.
· Provide medicine and supplies to Bolenge Hospital and the ten health points.
· Increase awareness of the recent outbreak of Ebola in Mbandaka, Bolenge, and villages surrounding these areas.
· Heighten hygiene and sanitation protocols of all hospitals and health points.
· Increase the number of screenings for the disease, even throughout the apparently healthy population.
The CDCC has set up health points to prevent the spread of Ebola in the following areas:
Bolenge Hospital and health point, Wangata, Iyonda, Secli, Ikengo, Bongonde, Nkalamba, Boyeka, Losanganya, and the Jordan Evangelical Clinic. Their preliminary budget for these initial actions total $18,500. Global Ministries is grateful to Week of Compassion and One Great Hour of Sharing for their rapid response to this emergency. Relief funds from these two offerings have been approved to provide urgent assistance to the CDCC in their response to the Ebola outbreak on behalf of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Global Ministries welcomes gifts for the CDCC’s health priorities and their work to address the Ebola outbreak.
Update: May 18, 2018
New cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mbandaka is the central location of the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC), long-standing partner of Global Ministries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of the recently confirmed cases of Ebola has been received at the CDCC’s Bolenge Hospital, where the CDCC is working with local efforts to treat and isolate this case. To increase their preventative measures, the CDCC is increasing the number of health points from 11 (Bolenge Hospital and ten health points) to 66 locations. These additional health points are located at 30 CDCC schools and 25 local congregations. Each health point is being equipped with sanitation washes and areas to provide isolation should any new cases arise.
The CDCC is requesting funds for protective equipment, medicine, materials to set up isolation units, sanitation and washing areas, and laser thermometers for each location to identify and monitor any individuals with a fever in Mbandaka. The CDCC estimates the cost to accomplish these additional actions, along with their initial action plan, to be approximately $46,000.
Update: May 23, 2018
Church of Christ in the Congo (ECC)
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, a team from the Church of Christ in the Congo’s (ECC) health department joined the World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors without Borders in the Bikoro region of the Equator Province. Upon their visit, the team confirmed five active cases of Ebola, including two patients being hospitalized at the Bikoro General Hospital. The remaining three patients were receiving treatment at the Ikoko health center. Samples were taken from these five active cases and sent for analysis to the National Institute for Biological Research in Kinshasa. Since Saturday, May 5, the ECC has reported 39 cases of Ebola, 19 deaths, and 29 suspected cases of Ebola from the Bikoro Health Zone.
In response to the Ebola outbreak, the ECC deployed a complete mobile laboratory in Bikoro, providing medical case management at the Bikoro and Iboko hospitals with support from the Belgian Doctors without Borders, and preparing Wangata Hospital to become a treatment facility for suspected cases in Mbandaka. The ECC is providing logistical support of medical personnel in response to the epidemic, and has established an airlift and medical helicopter to fly between Mbandaka, Bikoro, and Kinshasa with the support of the WHO and the UN.
The identified priorities for the ECC is are to continue the deployment of field experts to increase knowledge of the epidemic, preparing vaccinations to interrupt the transmission of Ebola, and to mobilize communities to respond to the outbreak. ECC is requesting funds to coordinate and mobilize community volunteers in raising awareness of the Ebola virus and prevention methods.
Disciples of Christ Church of the Congo (Republic of Congo)
Across the Congo River from Mbandaka in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, lies the village of Liranga in the Republic of Congo. Global Ministries partner, the Disciples of Christ Church of the Congo are preparing to respond to an Ebola outbreak in this region, as well as assisting their neighbors near Mbandaka, if needed. The Disciples of Christ Church in the Republic of Congo has an ecclesial post and health center in Liranga. The Liranga Health Center is the church’s largest health center in the country.
In response to the current Ebola outbreak, the Disciples of Christ Church of the Congo is training and mobilizing medical health workers to raise awareness of the Ebola outbreak and encourage preventative actions. The Disciples of Christ Church of the Congo is raising funds to train and mobilize community health awareness teams and print materials and advertisements sharing preventative measures. They estimate these initial activities total $9,000. Global Ministries welcomes gifts for partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo responding to the Ebola outbreak.
One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC) and Week of Compassion (Disciples) are supporting this response in close coordination with Global Ministries, read more here.