Congo Ebola survivor passes college exam taken in isolation
Now the celebrated Ebola survivor says he hopes he can realize his dreams and show other Ebola patients there is hope. "I was very happy and joyful when I saw the Ministry of Education text message on my phone reassuring me that I have just passed ... despite the precarious conditions," he told The Associated Press. "Being sick in an Ebola center, most people do not come back but also many people lose hope of living." Mabowa's mother had died of Ebola, and he told the AP in July that her greatest hope was that he would attend college. That requires passing the secondary school baccalaureate, or "bac.
By Fiston Mahamba
GISENYI, Rwanda (Reuters) - An Ebola survivor has fallen ill with the disease for a second time in eastern Congo, the Congolese health authorities said on Sunday, saying it was not yet clear if it was a case of relapse or reinfection.
The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo has infected over 3,300 people and killed more than 2,200 since the middle of last year, making it the second worst year on record.
Ebola concerns in Tanzania are 'rumors', says minister
Tanzania on Thursday again dismissed concerns about possible Ebola cases in the country as "rumors which everyone should ignore", after the US and Britain warned their citizens over a suspect case.
Experts say there has been a working assumption that Ebola survivors generally have immunity from the disease. There have been no documented cases of reinfection but some researchers consider it to be at least a theoretical possibility, while the recurrence of a previous infection is considered extremely rare.
In a daily report on the epidemic, the Congolese health authorities reported that a survivor in Mabalako, North Kivu province, had fallen ill with the virus again, but did not give further details.
Representatives of the World Health Organization and Congo's National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) said tests were being carried out to determine what had happened.
"Clinically, we will check whether it is a reinfection to know if it is the same virus and if the person has been infected by another source," Ahuka Steve Mundeke, a virologist at INRB, told Reuters.
Measles outbreak kills more than 4,000 in Congo this year
More than 4,000 people have died in Congo this year in the world's largest measles outbreak, the United Nations children's agency said Wednesday.
"We have had cases where the virus persists in immune reservoirs," said Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organisation (WHO). "In rare cases the virus can cause symptoms again. We are investigating now to see whether this was what happened."
A survivor working in an Ebola treatment centre fell sick again with the virus and died in July, but it has not been determined if she relapsed, was reinfected or had a false positive the first time she was ill.
Progress in containing the disease has been hampered in the last month by a surge in violence that forced aid groups to suspend operations and withdraw staff from the epidemic's last hotspots.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said they pulled their staff out of Biakoto region in Ituri province on Dec. 4 following two fresh attacks on their health centres by groups of people armed with sticks and machetes.
U.N. says Ebola in Congo still qualifies as global emergency
Even though the number of confirmed cases has slowed in recent weeks. The U.N. health agency first declared the epidemic, the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, to be an international emergency in July. On Friday, it convened its expert committee to reconsider whether the designation is still valid and decide if other measures are necessary.
"MSF cannot work if the security of our staff and patients is not ensured," the aid group said in a statement.
Mai Mai militia fighters and local residents have attacked health facilities on several occasions since the outbreak began, sometimes because they believe Ebola does not exist, in other cases because of resentment that they have not benefited from the influx of donor funding.
(Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Edmund Blair)
Beni: UN and Congolese authorities want to collaborate more closely
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, completed this Sunday, December 1, his mission in North Kivu province where he exchanged with many local authorities. With the governor of North Kivu, in Goma, the UN and the Congolese authorities announced the readjustment of the response against armed groups in the Beni territory.
With the Congolese military and civilian authorities,changes to be made to the response against the armed groups and especially against the fighters of the Ugandan rebellion of the ADF. Congolese and UN leaders agreed on a number of areas for change, including collaboration.
"We agreed that the authorities of North Kivu, Monusco and the United Nations system will work even more systematically to improve our action and to speak to all the components of civil society to explain our objectives" said Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
On a purely military level, in addition to intelligence sharing and logistical support, Monusco will also participate in field actions alongside the Congolese army.
"Mixed patrols have been considered," said Carly Nzanzu, governor of North Kivu. As an administrative authority, we must take care of that. One can not go to war without looking at the restoration aspect of the authority of the state.
The UN and the Congolese authorities have also emphasized the fight against impunity. On the communication plan, there will be more ways to fight against rumors, misinformation and manipulation of the population. Monusco has even begun to launch a series of messages to kinande, one of the most spoken languages in Beni.
"planned" attacks While in Beni, Jean-Pierre Lacroix visited the base of the UN mission, which was ransacked, looted and burned by angry protesters. This Sunday, following a meeting in Goma with the governor of North Kivu, Jean-Pierre Lacroix hinted that this attack, like the one that took place in Biakato against the facilities of the Ebola response, was planned and funded.
WHO: Death toll from measles outbreak in Congo hits 6,000 .
The death toll from a measles epidemic in Congo has surpassed 6,000, the World Health Organization said Tuesday as it warned that more funds are needed to save lives during the world's worst outbreak of the infectious disease.