"Populations’ collaboration is key to defeat Ebola," says Abdou Dieng

"Populations’ collaboration is key to defeat Ebola," says Abdou Dieng. Photo: MONUSCO/Archives

6 Nov 2019

"Populations’ collaboration is key to defeat Ebola," says Abdou Dieng


Bunia, October 30, 2019 - The (new) United Nations Deputy Coordinator for Emergency Response to Ebola Virus Disease (EERC) has been in Bunia since Wednesday. Abdou Dieng came to get first-hand information about the situation on the ground as part of the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Ituri. Even though there is almost no more case of the Ebola virus Disease reported in the province, actors are still concerned about communities resistance to the response teams over the fight against this epidemic.

Ituri remains the main active zone of the epidemic at the moment in the DRC, with the "red zones" being the localities of Mangina, Biakato and Mambasa where not only do some communities continue to deny the reality of Ebola, but most of all, others do not hesitate to attack the response teams and other Disease Treatment Centers. The number two of the United Nations Coordination in charge of Operations and Coordination came to Bunia, Ituri to listen to the key players in the fight against the disease with a view to better understanding the reasons for the resistance: "The purpose of my visit is to meet all the partners in this battle to better understand the situation," Abdou Dieng told the press on Wednesday morning.

Abdou Dieng said communication and awareness activities should proceed, while avoiding "militarization of the response teams to avoid scaring people". So, we need to create conditions for the response teams to work in a context that inspires trust in people and not scares them. Another key to success in the fight against Ebola according to Abdou Dieng, the necessary involvement of the populations: "as long as the communities will not collaborate with the response teams, the eradication of the disease will take longer," he said.

Finally, Abdou Dieng thanked MONUSCO for its support in the fight against Ebola. In Ituri, which includes the establishment on 13 September 2019 of a temporary military base in Mambasa with frequent patrols in the area, the almost daily sensitization of populations by both MONUSCO Police, the Force or the Radio Okapi in its local programs. Abdou Dieng will leave Bunia this Thursday for Beni in North Kivu, after meeting with provincial authorities and other partners in the fight against Ebola in Ituri.