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Tutu Fellow on the front line of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC

EbolaAlJazeera

2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has been on the front line of the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since it began more than a year ago, in one of the deadliest  ebola epidemics on record.   In July, the outbreak was designated a an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

Yap is the regional representative for Epicentre Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, and has been directly involved in a Phase III trial ebola vaccine that is being used to reduce the numbers of people infected by the disease. Al Jazeera interviewed him about how the struggle to contain the disease is going.

In addition to the high mortality rate from ebola, the DRC's struggle to contain the disease has been complicated by remote terrain, violence from armed groups and conspiracy theories that have hindered public health efforts. Health workers and some medical facilities have also endured violent attacks from locals frightened that they are responsible for spreading the disease.

More than 2,500 people have been infected with ebola since the start of the outbreak, of which more than 1,700 people have died from the disease since August 2018, making it the second-deadliest ebola epidemic on record. Al Jazeera's The Stream interviewed Yap as part of a panel of experts who provided insight into why it has been so difficult to contain the disease.  In the 25 minute episode, Yap is joined by George Kalisa, a journalist and Dr Sabue Mulangu, a medical doctor.  They tell of the difficulties being encountered on the ground in combatting the disease and of the courage of the workers involved.

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Wednesday, 20 November 2019

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